From down payments to finding housing:



on Affordable Housing in Hillsborough County


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: 
Todd Pratt
Communications & Digital Media
(813) 276-2409 – office
(813) 373-1023 – cell


Affordable Housing Complex to Open in Hillsborough County


Hillsborough County, Fla. (June 18, 2018) – Hillsborough County’s newest housing complex offers a solution to one of the area’s toughest problems: the need for more affordable rental apartments.

A dedication ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. June 25 for Sweetwater Villas, a 56-unit affordable housing complex at 8437 N. Lois Ave. in Tampa. Three of the units are designed for people with mobility challenges, and two were specially constructed for those with hearing or vision disabilities.

All are priced according to the tenant’s income, with maximum monthly rents ranging from $677 for a two-bedroom unit to $939 for a three-bedroom apartment. Amenities include a community area, playground, lakefront gazebo, and free parking.

The complex was developed by Blue Sky Communities and partially funded by Hillsborough County through a $4.5 million loan of HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds. Such public-private partnerships are becoming increasingly valuable as State Housing Initiative Program (SHIP) money has declined by more than 75 percent in Hillsborough County in the last two years.

Including the Sweetwater Villas project, Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Services plans to add more than 575 apartments and residences this year.

The maximum annual income for prospective residents ranges from $22,000 to $38,400, depending on family size. For more information, visit



Program for June 25 dedication ceremony



ABC Action News: March 29, 2018

Questions answered on affordable housing


Author: Shannon Valladolid

Published: 4:56 PM EDT March 29, 2018

Updated: 5:57 PM EDT March 29, 2018


HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY FL – Nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters.

They do some of the most important jobs in your community but some say they’re having a hard time affording a place to live.

“They all start at a low base salary, and a few of them exhaust their whole salary to afford to pay for rent or housing. We want to bring people here and we want them to know that we’re going to assist them in finding housing that meets their needs,” says Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman.

Murman heard the concerns of the working class and put together the first affordable housing forum, where people could get more information on resources available in our community.

Thursday morning, a handful of organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Florida Home Partnership, the Housing & Education Alliance, Tampa Housing Authority, and the Housing Finance Authority attended the forum at Jackson Springs Recreation Center to answer questions people had about affordable housing.

“We’re increasing our population every single year. We’re 1.4 million people now and we’re slated to be up to 1.8 million by 2030. People are moving here because they love the quality of life with the beaches and sunshine. We have good paying jobs here but the rental and housing market is still not within reach for many people,” she says.

We took the top three questions being asked at the forum and got answers for them.


Why aren’t more affordable homes being built in Hillsborough County?

Cheryl Howell, Affordable Housing Director for Hillsborough County says the answer is a decrease in SHIP funding. That’s stands for Florida State Housing Initiatives Partnership.

The county has seen a 75 percent decrease in funding the last few years.

  • 2016 – $6.1 million
  • 2017 – $4.2 million
  • 2017 – $1.3 million

Despite less money, Murman says the county is still committed to try and build 700 affordable home units every year, costing $13 million.

She also is working with developers to keep portions of their buildings affordable.

“It a worthy investment for us. I feel very good about what we’re doing in Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa. I know they’re producing units, as well but we’re also playing catch up. So, we need to keep investing and keep producing those units,” says Murman.


Where can I get help coming up with the money for a down payment?

Many people say they can afford a mortgage, but not the money up-front.

Hillsborough County works with many nonprofit groups to help with down payments and make you more profitable to lenders.

  • Solita’s House
    • Provides housing and credit counseling services to residents seeking to improve their credit and prepare for homeownership.
    • (813) 425-4847 –
  • CDC of Tampa
    • Provides multi-family housing opportunities to unincorporated Hillsborough County residents that are low to moderate income.
    • (813) 231-4362
  • Tampa Housing Authority
    • Provides quality, affordable housing opportunities for Hillsborough County residents, including new multi-family project in eastern Hillsborough County.
    • (813) 341-9101


How can I apply for help, and how can I search for an affordable place to live?

You can head over to

It’s easy to navigate, just type in what part of town you live in, find a home/apartment you like and then you can contact the company to apply.

This website also lets you know how much you can afford.

For more information on Affordable Housing in Hillsborough County, Click here: