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NALHFA Member Spotlight: Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County with the HOME Excellence award in recognition of the Palms of Pinellas project.

 

Palms of Pinellas represents the dedication of public and private organizations working together to meet the need for affordable workforce housing for teachers, hospital employees and more in Pinellas County. This 92-unit, mixed income, development embodies the vision and spirit of the many people and organization working to increase affordable workforce housing in our community. Of the 92 units, 19 units are set aside as Low Home at 50% AMI, 10 units are set aside as High Home at 80% AMI, 19 units are set aside as 50% AMI with SHIP rent limitations, 19 units are set aside as 120% AMI with SHIP rent limitations and 25 units have no program or rent restrictions but cannot exceed 150% AMI.

 

A market study, conducted in 2015, at the beginning of this project, concluded the project would be well suited to this mixed-use area, best described as moderate-income with median and average incomes increasing. The 4.98-acre site is located near the intersection of Ulmerton Road and Belcher Road, both primary thoroughfare roads in Pinellas County. The neighborhood offers a wide variety of employment and shopping opportunities. The location of this project places it within a reasonable commuting distance to many potential employers. The project is nearing completion and had approximately 69% of the units leased at the end of January 2019. Targeted marketing efforts are being focused on all Pinellas County School teachers and local hospitals. There is also a Preferred Employee Program offered to existing large corporations and neighboring businesses.

 

The 4.98 acres was purchased using funds from the Penny for Pinellas surtax program. Funds from this surtax are invested in infrastructure, public safety equipment and vehicles, environmental land acquisition, fire stations, parks, libraries, community centers and land for affordable housing. The Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas (HFA) administers the Land Assembly Fund portion of this program for Pinellas County. Once the land is purchased it is put into a land trust, with the HFA as Trustee. The HFA, as Trustee, then leases the land to the Developer for 99 years, ensuring continued affordability. 

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