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The Road to Stabilization

The Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Advisory Board discusses housing stabilization.

The Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Advisory Board met Monday to discuss a variety of pressing issues relevant to county’s current housing situation, with little fanfare from the public.

The issues ranged from Chinese drywall issues in newly built homes to the county’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

“It seems 55 percent of the money is going to multifamily homes,” said Real Estate Industry Representative Cristan Fadal.

Affordable Housing Department director Valmarie Turner explained to Fadal that the money granted by the government didn’t come with specifics regarding the type of home purchased with the money.

“It was specialized for foreclosed properties whether they’re single or multifamily,” said Turner.

According to the county’s website, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development granted the housing department $19.9 million with a spending deadline of September 2010.

Some of the target areas for the money include areas surrounding the University of South Florida and Progress Village.  Other areas range as far as Gibsonton and Plant City.

Progress Village is the same neighborhood where school conflict boiled over into a violent shooting.

The board seemed to agree that spending the money on multifamily homes in lieu of having a fund surplus would be prudent, weighing the possibility that if the money isn’t spent by the deadline, the government will spend it elsewhere.

AHAB consists of 20 seats including members of the Tampa Housing Authority and the Tampa City Council among others.  Selected citizens fill seats as well, representing employers and services in the program’s target areas.

Each member serves three years on the board with the exception of the county commissioner, whose term is indefinite.

The committee meets on the first Monday of each month at 9 a.m. near the top of the Fred B. Karl county center.

The sight from the conference room window on floor 26 shows off the sprawling landscape and busy interstate junction at I-275 and I-4.  It’s a shame more members of the affected communities didn’t come to the meeting – if only to take in the splendid view.

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