City Council hopeful Corey Givens Jr. wants to address the issue by creating a local fund dedicated specifically to preserving and developing affordable housing in South St. Petersburg.
Givens is one of the eight candidates running for District 6, which encompasses downtown St. Pete, Old Southeast and parts of Midtown.
“What I’ve consistently heard from my neighbors in District 6 is that we need more workforce housing,” Givens said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
Givens’ plan would be to establish a fund that he contends 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. The money would be generated through a one-time fee on all residential and commercial development, with the fees varying according to overall square footage.
“When it comes to rebuilding and revitalizing our neighborhoods, we have to begin thinking outside of the box,” he says. “There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to dealing with complex issues like creating quality and sustainable housing for all.”
Givens Jr. is one of eight men and women competing to survive the August 29 primary election in four weeks and advance to the November election.
The other candidates in the race include Justin Bean, Jim Jackson, Akile Cainion, James Scott, Gina Driscoll, Maria Scruggs and Robert Blackmon.