Tampa Park Residents begging for more time to move out before subsidies end

Posted at 4:49 PM, Jul 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-26 17:36:30-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Time is ticking down for 171 families about to lose their housing subsidies that help pay for rent at Tampa Park Apartments. 

"Every day I’m checking my mail, am I next? How long do I have?” she asked.

Claire Jackson only pays 30 percent of her rent. She brings her kids to Greater New Salem Primitive Baptist Church every day for lunch. That may end if her subsidies stop.

"If I leave I’m going to have no money,” said Jackson. "So how am I going to survive here?”

She and 170 other families have no clue, and neither does the Department of Housing and Urban Development. August 1 is when HUD told management it would stop paying portions of their rent. 

When ABC Action News asked the management when these people would have to leave if they couldn’t afford their rent, they said that was up to HUD.

"Well you probably will find most of them become homeless,” said Tampa City Council Chairman Frank Reddick.

Reddick met with concerned activists Thursday and is also demanding more time. 

“It bothered me so much that I said somethings got to be done," Reddick said. 

He says it’ll take the Tampa Housing Authority 8-9 months to issue housing vouchers, which will leave people like Clarise with very little options.

"They have to go through a process. Application, background checks and all of these different things,” said Reddick.

He’s also worried there aren’t enough homes for people in need. The Tampa Housing Authority told ABC Action News there are 0 section 8 properties available — and 10,000 people on the waitlist.

A new study shows Tampa is getting 17 percent fewer apartments this year than last. The study predicts there will be 4,000 new apartments built this year. 

"I’m looking like, is that gonna be us? Am I going to have my children out on the street?” Jackson asked.

They’re also asking the community to pay attention and help these people find new homes if they can.

Chairman Reddick and the Tampa City Council sent a letter to HUD asking for an extension. He says they will reach out to HUD Friday to get a status update. HUD told ABC Action News it would meet this week to talk about an extension. 

We also reached out to the Tampa Housing Authority but haven’t heard back.