Pinellas completes153 new affordable homes, hundreds more approved

Palmetto Pointe in Pinellas Park is one of two new affordable apartment communities recently constructed.

Two new housing developments supported by Pinellas County are bringing 153 new affordable homes to the community, and hundreds more are on the horizon through a growing program for local and national developers.

Applications opened this month for the third round of funding for housing development projects at www.HomesforPinellas.org.

Completed in late January and early February, the two newly constructed apartment communities are now offering affordable housing units reserved for specific household income levels. Eagle Ridge at 721 Mango Circle in Tarpon Springs, offers 71 apartment units, while Palmetto Pointe at 8011 49th Street North in Pinellas Park, offers 82 units. Residents are already beginning to move into their new homes in both communities, according to a press release from the county.

These completed developments were built by SP Pinellas I LLC and Eagle Ridge Apartments LLLP and partially funded through Pinellas County’s HOME and HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 funds, which provided a combined $1.8 million toward the two projects. The apartments are reserved for households making 60 percent of the area median income or less.

New application cycle begins

The third round of applications for the Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program opened this month to support qualified housing development and rehabilitation projects. The County invites applicants, including developers who specialize in affordable housing and those who traditionally build market-rate developments, as well as municipal and nonprofit partners, to apply.

Those interested can learn more and apply online through March 31, 2021, at www.HomesforPinellas.org.

The Pinellas County Commission recently approved funding support for 412 affordable and workforce housing units to be built over the next few years through the program.

Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program funds may be used for land acquisition or for capital projects associated with the development, construction or rehabilitation of housing units for the local workforce. To qualify, prospective projects must include units for income-qualified households.

Project applications for Round 3 will be reviewed in April, and those selected will go to the County Commission for approval in May. Round 2 applications are currently under review, and a fourth round of applications is expected to open later this year.

The Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program, launched in June 2020, is funded by revenue from the voter approved 1-percent Penny for Pinellas sales tax. The county has committed $80 million of this tax revenue through 2030 to use with public and private investment for the development and preservation of affordable housing units.

In the past 10 years, Pinellas County has supported development and preservation of more than 2,900 affordable housing units through a combination of local, state and federal partnerships.

The County is also partnering with cities, developers, nonprofits and other agencies as part of a countywide strategy to ensure housing affordability into the future.

In January, the County Commission approved maximum funding amounts for four Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program applications from the first round, totaling up to $11.6 million. The approved projects will create 412 affordable housing units for Pinellas County residents.