HOPE is a multi-issue, grassroots, community organization consisting of 23 multicultural and interfaith member congregations throughout Hillsborough County. HOPE is a non-partisan, private, non-profit, 501(c) 3, tax-exempt, community organization founded and incorporated in the State of Florida in 1988.HOPE’s mission is to promote justice, fairness, and the dignity of people, by engaging and training people to responsibly and successfully act together to hold officials accountable to improve the systems affecting the quality of life in our communities. WEBSITE
Tampa Bay Times September 6, 2019
Hillsborough County to spend $10 million a year on affordable housing
Commissioners vote to create housing trust fund to build and preserve affordable housing
with half earmarked for low-income poorest families.
By Christopher O'Donnell
Sweetwater Villas, one of the newest affordable housing complexes in
Hillsborough County, was built through a county partnership with Blue Sky
Communities. This week, Hillsborough County committed to make $10 million
available annually for an affordable housing trust fund.
TAMPA — Until he became homeless, Terry Lofton was spending more than half of his monthly disability check
on the $500 rent for a one-room studio. Now he is sleeping on his cousin’s floor.
“It’s embarrassing,” said Lofton, 61, who has recently worked as a security guard and housekeeper.
For the past six years, the faith-based group HOPE has battled to get Hillsborough County leaders to make a
long-term commitment to provide housing for people like Lofton, who struggle with the Tampa Bay region’s
rising rental costs.
So, the group celebrated this week as the county’s new Democrat-majority commission pledged to set aside $10
million every year for an affordable housing trust fund.
The fund will be used both as a subsidy and incentive for the construction and preservation of affordable housing.
Construction will be done through partnerships with non-profit groups and affordable housing developers. The
money can also be used to purchase land suitable for affordable housing.
At least half the money must be spent on housing for low-income families. That includes 30 percent for
households categorized as “very-low income.” Based on federal calculations used for housing vouchers, a
household of four people would need a combined gross income of less than $33,500 to meet that criteria.
“Investing in ways to increase access to affordable housing is critically important to our comm