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Tampa mayor announces plans for more affordable housing

Affordable housing
Posted at 3:56 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 17:13:00-04

TAMPA, FLA. — Finding a decent place to live that won’t break the bank is a tough task in Tampa Bay, but the city of Tampa is working to fix that problem.

“There is no more basic need — other than food — than housing,” said Mayor Jane Castor.

The mayor held a press conference Wednesday morning to give an update on her ambitious goal to create 10,000 affordable units across Tampa by 2027.

“Diversity is what defines the city of Tampa,” she said. “the last thing we can afford is for people to be pushed out of our city because of the rising rent and rising housing cost.”

She held her conference at a vacant lot on N. 47th St. in East Tampa. The reason for that location, the mayor is looking for a developer to build an apartment complex on that site. The plan must include affordable housing, along with market-rate housing.

“And they must have a plan to revitalize not only this lot, but this neighborhood as well.”

Some people in the neighborhood are all for it, like Karen Peoples.

“Hope is here to come,” she said. “Now i can see people living here and having a good life.”

Peoples is not only a member of this community, but she’s also a leader. She has dedicated her life to helping people find a place to live. She knows the struggles people run into, “especially when they are looking for a place they can afford.”

“People need affordable housing. I’m so grateful to the mayor for doing this.”

Two local developers were on hand for the big announcement, and also expressed interest in developing the land. Jonathan Stanton is the owner of LEMA Construction. Darrick Fullwood is the owner of Restoration and Builders LLC.

LEMA was recently granted approval for a project at S 56th St. and E. Washington St. He’s building a 232 unit apartment complex, 24 of the units will be reserved for income-eligible renters.

Fullwood’s company has built several homes across Tampa, for income-eligible families. He was able to take advantage of the city’s Infill Housing program.

“What is beautiful about this program is that the city has made it their initiative and their priority to make sure families like where i come from are able to move into a brand-new home —that we would typically sell on the market for $325,000— and get it for $150,000 or $175,000,” Fullwood said. “it’s a win for everybody.”