The city of Tampa launched a Rental Rehabilitation Program to help landlords afford property maintenance amid economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program targets property owners specifically, as the increase in unemployment from the pandemic has made it difficult for many tenants to meet rent, causing some landlords to be unable to ensure continuous maintenance and repair.
With the Rental Rehabilitation Program, the city is hoping to avoid units becoming uninhabitable, which could lead to a reduction in the supply of affordable rental housing.
“Housing affordability is one of our key focus areas in Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor in a news release. “As we navigate through this post-COVID-19 economy, the preservation of these units and this direct landlord support is a significant step in achieving our overall housing goals and future success.”
The program will provide landlords expedited access to financial capital to ensure sustained property maintenance and that tenants have appropriate living conditions.
Nonprofit organizations, public entities, private individuals and for-profit companies are all eligible to apply to the new program.
The property must be an existing multi-family rental property located within Tampa city limits, and it must be in compliance with all current zoning requirements. The property must be current on all property taxes, assessments and have no outstanding liens.
The program will only accept applicants who demonstrate a decrease in rental income of at least 25% between February and July of this year as compared to the same period in 2019. The rental decrease must be directly related to COVID-19, and the landlord must have owned the property for more than two years.
“This program will allow us to develop relationships with affordable apartment owners, monitor units to improve housing conditions, and avoid evictions due to uninhabitable units,” said Kayon Henderson, Tampa housing and community development supervisor. “We look forward to working with these property owners one-on-one to ensure resident needs are met through the program.”