TAMPA, Florida – The Tampa Bay area continues to experience strong housing demand and rising prices, in addition to a growing need for affordable housing. On Wednesday, the city of Tampa took another step forward with the opening of West River Boulevards in West Tampa.
Jerome Ryans, President and CEO of the Tampa Housing Authority pointed out the new community: three buildings, 371 units, and a combination of affordable and market rates.
“Affordable housing in this city and this country is at a premium right now,” Ryans said. “We are trying to address the need for affordable housing in this community as a whole.
At last count, the Tampa Housing Authority (THA) says there were more than 7,000 families on the THA’s current waiting list, which it says speaks to the growing need for more affordable housing communities in the city of Tampa.
The THA says West River Boulevards represent the next step in West River’s evolution into a multi-generational mixed-income community, and includes three mixed-use apartment buildings serving residents of all income brackets.
“Years ago it was one of the most criminal communities in the city, possibly one of the most criminal communities in the country,” Ryans said. “We made a decision that we had to do better. We had to tear it down and start all over again because in the days of social housing construction as they have built it over the years, that won’t happen again. “
THA and Boulevards staff in West River have broken down the unit prices for the new community. At market rates, a one-bedroom will cost around $ 1,080, while for subsidized housing, a one-bedroom will cost around $ 880, with residents paying a percentage of their income.
Ryans explained how the rates compare to other HAT communities.
“In a straight line, anyone who moves into subsidized housing pays only 30% of their monthly income. That’s it, ”Ryans said.
Ryans also explained how the region is expected to develop even further.
“We’re going to have a grocery store here. We’re going to have restaurants here. We’re going to have offices here, so this is one of those situations where it makes sense for this community, and we’ve been working on it for a number of years, ”Ryans said.
Mayor Jane Castor says she has a goal of 10,000 affordable units by 2027. The mayor said she believes the complex will have a big economic impact.
“The areas we are focusing on are workforce development, mobility, transportation and housing affordability, so if we offer residences close to the source of high paying jobs, you can take away transporting your budget for the month, “says Castor.” So we really go to great lengths to make sure that we have these comprehensive solutions for our residents that are affordable. “