New affordable housing units coming to St. Petersburg for families, seniors

Local News

(Images: Wannemacher Jensen Architects via St. Petersburg Housing Authority)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners approved a new affordable housing development proposal for Hartford Street North and 32nd Avenue near the 34th Street corridor. When completed, the project is expected to build 47 new housing units, for a combination of family units and senior apartments.

“We could not be more thrilled to pursue this development opportunity as the latest step in fulfilling our mission to provide safe, affordable housing to the residents of St. Petersburg, especially in a time of such great need. Our board will always lend our support in this critical effort,” said Commissioner James Dates, chairman of the SPHA Board of Commissioners.

According to SPHA, the new development is designed by Wannemacher Jensen Architects as part of the organization’s “ongoing effort to increase the number of affordable housing units” in the city. The new buildings will be constructed on land already owned by SPHA.

The 47 units will be split up between family units and senior apartments, with 35 for families and 12 for seniors. Family properties will be a combination of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments, according to SPHA. The proposal also included amenities such as a fitness center, dog park, playground, and multipurpose room.

For the senior apartments, the building will have one and two-bedroom units, with washers and dryers for each unit included in the proposal. SPHA said there will also be an outdoor recreational space for games like pickleball and shuffleboard.

“Our firm is privileged to play a role in creating more affordable housing for our city, allowing seniors and families to live in and enjoy St. Petersburg without concern for the high cost of living,” said Jason Jensen, Wannemacher Jensen Architects Principal.

The housing authority said both properties are intended to serve individuals or families that are at or below 60 percent of the area median income in St. Petersburg.

According to information published by the City of St. Petersburg, the area median income is $63,900, meaning the new properties on Hartford and 32nd would be aimed at helping those households with an income of $38,340 or less.

Funding to build the new housing is expected to come from a variety of sources, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits, loans, and other sources approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“SPHA is continuously searching for ways to advance the expansion of affordable housing in our city, and this opportunity at our Hartford site is an important step forward. Our families and our seniors deserve to live in spaces where they can be comfortable, have access to mass-transit, and enjoy the best quality of life. This development proposal checks all of those boxes and we cannot wait to proceed with the next phase of planning,” said Michael Lundy, SPHA President and Chief Executive Officer.

The new development was approved by the SPHA Board of Commissioners on Oct. 28, according to the organization. The housing authority also has construction underway for renovations and redevelopment at Jordan Park Apartments, the state of Florida’s oldest public housing facility.

Construction at Jordan Park will start this month. SPHA told 8 On Your Side that they expect to have plans submitted to the city by the end of the first quarter of 2022, at which point they “will seek to procure a developer partner.”

By the second quarter of 2022, SPHA said it will “pursue uses and sources of funding” to construct the properties. Once a development partner is chosen, a construction timeline will be developed.

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