Tampa City Council on Ã¢â‚¬Å“Affordable HousingÃ¢â‚¬?by Mitch E. Perry04/27/06
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 CityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.Ã¢â‚¬? rented or ownedÃ¢â‚¬? )
In drafting a comprehensive plan to get developers to build more affordable housing, last year Sarasota County Commissioners committed themselves to adopt whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s called Ã¢â‚¬Ëœinclusionary zoningÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬Â¦but after complaints from business, the plan has been revised to suggest such housing, but not to mandated itÃ¢â‚¬Â¦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.Ã¢â‚¬?in Town property developmentÃ¢â‚¬?)
Dingfelder mused that perhaps the city could codify something in the Housing CodeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦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 Ã¢â‚¬ËœaffordableÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Cindy Miller from the City of Tampa said her department actually doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t use use either of those terms, but instead bases the definition upon on the saleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.Ã¢â‚¬?in the federal governmentÃ¢â‚¬?)
The City of TampaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Affordable Housing Task Force meets again on May 8th, and will present its findings to the Hillsborough County Commission on May 17th