new $80 million fund dedicated to expanding affordable housing in Pinellas County over the next decade is now open to support qualified development and rehabilitation projects.
The new Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program will use revenue from the voter approved 1-percent sales tax with public and private investment to preserve and develop more affordable housing.
The County is looking for a variety of applicants, including developers who specialize in affordable housing and those who traditionally build market-rate developments, as well as municipal and nonprofit partners. In Florida’s most densely-developed county, addressing housing affordability requires creative approaches, and projects may take a variety of forms, including development and rehabilitation of multi-family, mixed-use and single-family homes.
Those interested can apply online through Aug. 31, 2020 at: www.HomesforPinellas.org.
The Board of County Commissioners (BCC) has made a long-term commitment to preserve and build homes accessible to all residents. The new program dedicates a portion of the Penny sales tax to develop new properties, preserve or renovate existing units and add affordable housing units in mixed-use projects.
Program funds may be used for:
•Land acquisition that supports development, renovation or preservation of affordable housing units.
•Capital projects associated with development, construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing units for the local workforce.
To qualify for funds, prospective projects must include affordable units for income qualified households. Additionally, the BCC has adopted program guidelines to prioritize projects based on a number of factors, including range of incomes served, number of units and financial commitment by the project developer. These guidelines were developed by a countywide committee including local municipal and agency partners and can be found on the program website.
Additional information and application details can be found at www.HomesForPinellas.org. Builders and developers with projects in Pinellas County that meet the requirements should apply by 5 p.m., on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. Projects will be reviewed in September and October, and those selected will go to the County Commission for approval in November. Subsequent application cycles will open as long as funds are available.
The County dedicated 8.3 percent of the Penny for Pinellas sales tax renewed by voters from 2020-2030 to affordable housing land acquisition and economic development capital projects, based on broad public input.
In the past 10 years, the County has supported development and preservation of more than 2,900 affordable housing units through a combination of local, state and federal partnerships.
Expanding housing that’s affordable has consistently been ranked as a top priority by Pinellas County residents through surveys and other forms of public input.