Givens: St. Pete Needs Affordable Housing Fund
The fund would help more people become homeowners, according to Corey Givens Jr., who is running for the St. Petersburg City Council.
ST. PETERSBURG – Corey Givens Jr., a candidate for City Council, has proposed the creation of a fund to help create more affordable housing and help more low- and moderate-income residents in south St. Petersburg to become homeowners.
Givens is running for the District 6 seat currently held by Karl Nurse, who is terming out of office.
Givens said Tuesday (Aug. 1) that he has spent the past seven months listening to the concerns of voters within District 6 and believes the city needs a local fund dedicated specifically to preserving and developing affordable housing in south St. Petersburg.
“What I’ve consistently heard from my neighbors in District 6 is that we need more workforce housing,” Givens said. “Rent payments guzzle almost half of our income and leave us with barely enough money to cover utilities, food and other necessities. The average cost of a home in this area is $175,000, but you have to earn a gross salary of at least $42,000 to be able to afford that.”
“I’m a product of St. Pete’s public housing; this issue is personal to me. Our lower-income and homeless residents are in need of housing they can afford. I’ll work to ensure that every child who lives in this city has a place they can call home,” he added.
Givens spent Sunday (July 30) afternoon speaking with residents in Jamestown Apts., a low-income housing complex just north of Tropicana Field.
“The families here are yearning for a shot at the American dream—becoming a homeowner. However, this is all they can afford at the time. Helping people transition into a better way of life should be a primary focus of our city council,” he said.
A member of the South St. Petersburg CRA Advisory Committee, Givens said he believes that one way to create more affordable housing and increase the number of homeowners within south St. Petersburg would be by establishing a fund that would generate $200 million over 15 years to create or preserve 7,000 permanent, affordable homes for at-risk residents and low-to moderate income families.
This fund would be based on a proposed revenue bundle that would capitalize on the solidity of the city’s property taxes and the perks that come along with economic booms through a one-time fee on all residential and commercial development. Fees would vary according to overall square footage.
“When it comes to rebuilding and revitalizing our neighborhoods, we have to begin thinking outside of the box. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to dealing with complex issues like creating quality and sustainable housing for all,” Givens said.
Givens is one of eight candidates in the District 6 race. The others are Maria Scruggs, Eritha Cainion, James Jackson, Justin Bean, James Scott, Gina Driscoll, and Robert Blackmon.
Council members serve four-year terms and earn $44,452.
The primary is Aug. 29. The two top votegetters will move on to the general election on Nov. 7.
For information about Givens, go to coreygivens.com.
Corey Givens | St. Petersburg Election | City Council District 6 | Politics | Elections | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter
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