TAMPA, Fla — Twenty-eight affordable housing units are now filled with residents in East Tampa. It's nowhere near enough to meet the housing crisis in the area, but Tampa and several other communities are starting to make some progress in the fight.
“Throughout my struggling and homeless hardship and moving from one place to another…I call that my sanctuary and my heaven here on earth and I'm very appreciative to that," Resident, Beverly Hills, said.
Hillsborough County Commissioner, Kimberly Overman told ABC Action News there’s limited, if any, inventory for anyone that can afford to rent or buy a place in the county.
“We're at least 11,000 units short inside of Hillsborough County. Last year, it was 51,000 so we are working very hard to increase our inventory," Overman added.
She said keeping up with the demand continues to be an uphill battle.
“The demand is exceedingly high, causing rents to be up as much as 50 percent and home values up as 30 to 40 percent. That increases the need for affordable housing to a level that we've not experienced before. And so it's critically important that these partnerships and these kinds of establishments are able to be built so people have a place to live. And that's why they get subscribed so quickly," Overman explained.
According to Habitat for Humanity, there are four communities currently underway in Hillsborough County. In Temple Terrace, a 12 single-family home community has four units completed and an eight townhome community with six units in the finishing stages. In Tampa, 20 single-family homes are in the pre-permitting stages.
Down in St. Pete there are 14 multi-family developments either in the planning phase or completed. Out of the 1103 units in the area, 752 are considered affordable housing.
“You have to apply. You can't get on the waitlist if you don't apply," Cheryl Howell, Director of Affordable Housing Services in Hillsborough County said.
Howell added that all you have to do to apply is call the housing authority in your county to get on a list.
“Make sure that you keep your credit as clean as possible because you do have to meet the standards to move into affordable housing," Howell said.