Hillsborough Co. affordable housing program secures $1M in Senate budget
New Life Village.

New Life Village
The funds will be used to build two new residential buildings for a local nonprofit.

A Hillsborough County affordable housing community could receive $1 million to continue development after Senate approval Wednesday.

Tampa Bay area lawmakers Sen. Danny Burgess and Rep. Jackie Toledo filed the appropriations bills (SF 1861, HB 2189) seeking $1 million to fund a development project for New Life Village, an affordable housing community. 

While included in the House’s initial budget, the funding request was left out in the Senate. However, the Senate accepted the allocation Wednesday after the project was listed in the House’s bump offer.

The non-profit plans to use the funding to build two new residential buildings to house larger sibling groups of families in the foster care system, according to the request. Residents of the community are low income, and most have been affected by multiple traumas. 

The state funds would be used to cover construction costs for 16 new multifamily affordable housing units on the New Life Village campus. The state funding would account for 25% of the project, with local government providing $1,736,820, or 43%, and private donors offering $1,327,950, or 33%. 

The program did not receive any state funds last year, making the $1 million request a significant leap, especially with the significant budget challenges expected this year because of the economic impact of COVID-19.

But, with the economic woes brought on by the pandemic, many families may soon need to turn to more affordable housing options than before.

According to the request, Hillsborough County hosted an affordable housing forum in early 2019 that demonstrated an urgent need for affordable housing — specifically for senior citizens and at risk-children affected by trauma and foster care.

The community provides holistic, onsite services and activities, as well as a supportive environment to help residents heal and grow. The village targets seniors and individuals involved in foster care. 

Soft costs have already been paid and predevelopment is complete after a competitive bidding process in December 2020, according to the request. 

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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