Tampa City Council on “Affordable Housing�by Mitch E. Perry

04/27/06

As communities in the Tampa Bay Area become increasingly unaffordable for many of its denizens, the Tampa City Council lightly touched on the issue this morning at their weekly meeting.

Legislative aid Desiree Valdes has been heading the City’s Affordable Housing Task Force. She told Council members today that she will present a report with preliminary recommendations to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners in the middle of May.(roll tape#1 o.q.� rented or owned� )

In drafting a comprehensive plan to get developers to build more affordable housing, last year Sarasota County Commissioners committed themselves to adopt what’s called ‘inclusionary zoning’ …but after complaints from business, the plan has been revised to suggest such housing, but not to mandated it…It is still being worked on.

Valdes told City Councilwoman Mary Alvarez that inclusionary zoning is NOT a piece of what the Tampa Housing Task Force is requiring.

While Councilman John Dingfelder asked Cindy Miller, Department of Business & Housing Development , if the City had good incentives to offer developers to encourage the building more affordable housing? Miller said that has happened already on occasion (roll tape#2 o.q.�in Town property development�)

Dingfelder mused that perhaps the city could codify something in the Housing Code…Miller said that could be used as an incentive, but not a mandate.

Councilwoman Mary Alvarez said she wanted to know the definition of affordable housing vs. workforce housing , and used developments in the Channelside District as an example of workforce being applicable, but not really ‘affordable’…Cindy Miller from the City of Tampa said her department actually doesn’t use use either of those terms, but instead bases the definition upon on the sale’s price of a house, and the percentage above or below the average median income for the area under federal guidelines (roll tape# 3 o.q.�in the federal government�)

The City of Tampa’s Affordable Housing Task Force meets again on May 8th, and will present its findings to the Hillsborough County Commission on May 17th

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