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More and more people are finding themselves living paycheck to paycheck in the greater Tampa Bay region. In some places, rent has doubled. The cost of everyday goods — like gas and groceries — keeps creeping up. All the while, wages lag behind and the affordable housing crisis looms. Amid cost-of-living increases, WUSF is focused on documenting how people are making ends meet.

Tampa CRA approves an additional $20.2 million toward affordable housing

In a 7-0 vote at Tampa City Hall, the Community Redevelopment Agency board adopted a budget revision to affordable housing funding.
Thomas Iacobucci
WUSF Public Media
In a 7-0 vote at Tampa City Hall, the Community Redevelopment Agency board adopted a budget revision for affordable housing funding.

The decision, which was first discussed in budget workshops earlier this year, puts the city’s total affordable housing budget over $50 million.

An extra $20.2 million will be available for affordable housing initiatives in the city of Tampa after elected officialsapproved a budget revision on Dec. 8.

Earlier this year, the administration approved a budget for fiscal year 2023 that slated $26 million — in general, state and federal funds — for affordable and workforce housing.

In response to public testimonies about the overwhelming need for housing assistance, the Tampa City Council sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) board identified an additional $20 millionthat could potentially be reallocated to bolster funding for affordable housing.

Tampa’seight CRA districts include: Central Park, Channel District, Downtown, Drew Park, East Tampa, Tampa Heights, Tampa Heights Riverfront, West Tampa, and Ybor City.

On Thursday, after weeks of negotiations among the Community Advisory Committees (CAC) that oversee the redevelopment districts, the CRA board adopted the budget revisions in a 7-0 vote.

Ahead of a vote to approve the reallocation, Council Member Bill Carlson said the advisory committees, or CACs, recognized the need to respond to the ongoing housing crisis.

“The CAC — I think from their point of view — are making a huge sacrifice by switching money that they thought they could spend on other things for this. And so as a community, we're coming together to try to do something positive,” council member Bill Carlson said.

City director of economic development Nicole Travis also urged city leaders to “staff up” the offices that will be dispersing these funds and overseeing affordable housing projects.

“There's not a silver bullet in solving our affordable housing or housing crisis, we have to attack it from all different angles,” she said.

Gabriella Paul covers the stories of people living paycheck to paycheck in the greater Tampa Bay region for WUSF. She's also a Report for America corps member. Here’s how you can share your story with her.

I tell stories about living paycheck to paycheck for public radio at WUSF News. I’m also a corps member of Report For America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms.