Countywide compact to address long-term housing solutions
Pinellas County, Forward Pinellas and the cities of Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg officially launched a new partnership Tuesday aimed at increasing production of affordable housing in the coming years.
With Commission approval of the Advantage Pinellas Countywide Housing Compact, the County and partners have committed to creating a common set of policies that will make it easier to develop and preserve affordable housing throughout the community.
While current rental prices have hit historic highs, the compact charts a future where housing is attainable to all residents. The goal is to make production of affordable homes easier through new zoning policies that allow a wider range of housing types while also increasing financial incentives to build residential developments with rents below market prices.
The compact builds upon ongoing work to speed up production of affordable housing using a combination of local, state and federal funds and incentives, including the Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program launched in 2019. Funds from the Penny Housing Program are already supporting production of 878 homes set at affordable rents, such as the Skyway Lofts Apartments, which opened to new tenants last week in St. Petersburg.
“Pinellas County and our partners are committed to building a better future where our children and their families can afford to live and thrive in this community – that’s what this housing compact is all about,” said Commission Chairman Charlie Justice.
“Housing affordability is bigger than any one community, and we won’t solve it if we’re each going it alone,” said Forward Pinellas Executive Director Whit Blanton.
“The Advantage Pinellas Housing Compact is a long-term partnership to address the critical shortage of affordable housing in the county and improve the lives of our current and future residents.”
Forward Pinellas and the four municipalities have all signed onto the compact in recent months. A staff working group representing the compact partners will begin work in the coming months on a housing action plan that will identify steps for implementing a variety of housing policies. Other municipalities and agencies will be invited to join the compact as the plan is rolled out.
The compact is part of the Advantage Pinellas plan to address long-term, countywide needs for transportation, jobs, and housing.
Immediate help available for renters, homeowners
- Residents can get help with overdue rent or legal aid for evictions through the Emergency Rental Assistance and Eviction Assistance programs. To date, the County has helped more than 10,000 individuals and families stay in their homes through rental assistance and the program continues to take new applicants. Learn more.
- Pinellas County also offers programs to help with down-payments for first-time homebuyers and other programs for homeowners. Learn more.
Recent affordable housing developments
- Skyway Lofts Apartments, 65 affordable units in South St. Petersburg
- Delmar Terrace, 65 affordable homes near downtown St. Petersburg
- The Shores, 51 affordable units in South St. Petersburg
- Innovare, 50 affordable units near downtown St. Petersburg
- Butterfly Grove, 22 affordable units near downtown St. Petersburg
Approved for County Funding
- Arya, 124 affordable units in a mixed-income apartment in St. Petersburg
- Washington Avenue Apartments, 171 affordable and workforce units in Clearwater
- Whispering Pines, 20 affordable homes in South St. Petersburg
- Oakhurst Trace, 220 affordable homes in Pinellas Park
- Blue Dolphin Tower, 81 affordable units in Clearwater
- Seminole Square, 96 affordable units in Largo
Learn more about the Advantage Pinellas Countywide Housing Compact and the County’s affordable housing program at: www.homesforpinellas.org.