Tampa OKs funding to buy, refurbish foreclosed homes

05/14/09 Mitch E. Perry
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In January, the city of Tampa received more than $13 million from the federal government buy and restore foreclosed homes, mostly in the West Tampa and Sulpher Springs part of the city. It came from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed last year to deal with the foreclosure crises.

Today in Tampa, the City Council, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, committed to spending $1.1 million to buy and refurbish homes in East Tampa.

Tampa resident Spencer Kass urged the CRA not to purchase homes those homes in East Tampa. Kass said it would reduce the city’s property tax collections, and add more low-income people to an already depressed area.

Mark Huey, Tampa’s redevelopment director, responded by telling Kass that the city’s investment in East Tampa has nothing to do with making more money for the Iorio administration. He said the city is purchasing roughly 30 to 40 properties in East Tampa, but not with General Revenue Funds.

Ed Johnson is the CRA director for Tampa. He said his department is using a similar type program as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program for the East Tampa area, and says the city will rent out the properties if they’re sold in a rapid fashion.

The funding for the purchasing of the homes comes from TIF or Tax Incremental Financing, which takes a part of property taxes in the area for redevelopment projects.

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