NewsPrice of Paradise


Local programs helping first-time homebuyers purchase homes in a competitive and expensive housing market

Free homeownership event at the Tampa Convention Center Saturday from 9a.m. until 3p.m.
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Posted at 9:27 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 23:23:41-04

TAMPA, Fla. — We all know how expensive it has become to buy property here in the Tampa Bay area, but there are local programs helping people to buy their first homes.

“This will be the first time of me ever owning a home in my life,” said Bryana Oliver, a first-time homeowner. Oliver was born and raised in Tampa and is just happy to be able to stay in her city. She said what inspired her to make the big leap and buy a home was providing generational wealth for her four children. “If I’m not here at least they’ll have something to fall back on, whether they still want to live in the home or they want to sell it,” said Oliver.

She plans on closing the deal next Wednesday and it is all thanks to a city homeownership program called “Dare to Own the Dream.” They assist first-time homeowners with buying homes by providing down payment loan assistance. Oliver qualified for $80,000. “Yea! I was very excited about that,” said Oliver.

While she is excited her children do not even know yet. She plans on making it a big surprise. “I’m not going to tell them that we actually moved into the home until we actually get there,” said Oliver.

“Once they go in and they own their own home, they no longer have to battle those rental increases,” said Kayon Henderson, Housing and Community Development Manager for the city of Tampa.

Meanwhile, this Saturday, there will be a free home ownership event at the Tampa Convention Center from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. “This weekend we’ll have about 54 vendors. We’ll have realtors, lenders, title companies. We really want it to be where everyone, once they come in, they should leave with every knowledge they need to buy their first home,” said Henderson.

There will also be free parking, food, and workshops in both English and Spanish.

For more information on the free homeownership event, click here.

For more information on the “Dare to Own the Dream” program, click here.

As Tampa Bay continues to attract new residents and businesses, the impact of living in paradise comes at a cost for all of us— from the increasing cost of housing and infrastructure to utilities and insurance. ABC Action News is committed to helping you and your family make the most of your money and navigate through the Price of Paradise.