Pinellas County leaders came together today to discuss housing affordability amidst increasingly unaffordable housing prices. The recent population boom in Florida has had both positive and negative effects, especially for Pinellas County. The county is the 7th largest in the state and struggles with housing affordability.
Business leaders and elected officials are trying to tackle the problem. Brent Burish, CEO of HCA Florida Pasadena Hospital in St Petersburg, saw the effects firsthand.
“We’ve seen patient care technicians making 40,000 per year after ten years cry because they’re moving to Georgia because their rent is half as much.”
Tim Wranovix, director of Raymond James National Housing Group, mentioned that although low-income residents are hardest hit, lack of affordable housing affects people of all income levels.
“Even areas we deem as wealthy areas will eventually not be the destination that folks think they are if restaurants can’t have their workers, or there’s no hotels, or you can’t staff for new small businesses trying to open”
The summit marks the rollout of a new Housing Action plan, which lays out specific steps to create housing choices for people of all incomes. The goal is to update codes to allow for more townhomes and tiny homes, and create loans for housing near transit areas.