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Tampa residents share hopes for change with new city councilmember

Posted at 10:30 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 23:32:55-04

TAMPA, Fla — Tampa has found its new city council member in Lynn Hurtak. The Bay area native tells us she's looking forward to serving her community and listening to their needs.

"Communities know what they need," she said.

ABC Action News sat down with the President of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, of which Hurtak is a member. Tim Keeports told us he's hoping to see Hurtak use her leadership experience to bring changes to the "urban core" of the city.

"Focusing on vision zero, making sure we have good walkability, bike-ability," he said.

Another major issue that some hope to see her focus on is affordable housing.

"It's hard for me to think of another subject that is as important as affordable housing," said the co-leader of YIMBY Tampa, Nathan Hagen.

To help ease housing issues right now, Hagen said the city needs to make it easier to rezone land beyond single-family use. He also said providing tenants with a heads up on rent increases and continuing to provide things like rental assistance will be key.

"There are some short-term things that we can do in terms of making housing more available or more persistent so keeping people in their homes is really important," he said.

He added that a more long-term fix will come from the city council working to streamline the city's land-use code so they don't have to spend as much time voting on individual building projects. And when it comes to providing more affordable housing, Hurtak said it's something she knows Tampa Bay can definitely make happen.

"It's doable. If it's doable anywhere, it's doable here. It's just a matter of how we approach it," she said.

Hurtak's current appointment lasts until March 7, 2023. She can then run for election to the seat at that time.