Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, which aims to increase home builds each year, is planning to develop a 50-plus-unit townhome development in Largo.
This week, Habitat closed on a 6.95-acre site at 1756 Dr. MLK Jr. Ave. in a $2 million deal.
“We have been working with the family estate for over a year to do affordable housing on this site,” said Sean King, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy for Habitat for Humanity.
Traditionally, Habitat is known for the single-family homes it builds at infill lots throughout the counties.
“This is a way that we are venturing back into the multifamily space,” King said.
Habitat for Humanity has been the leader in building affordable housing complexes within the local area.
To date, there have been 41 lots entered into the City of St. Petersburg’s lot disposition program with 10 affordable, single-family residences completed. Habitat has built nine out of the 10. Many of the lots provided to other groups have remained empty.
The concept in Largo is to have a mix of two to three-bedroom homes with a modern style with a total square footage of roughly 1,200 square feet. The overall project is estimated to cost $12 million, including the land acquisition.
“The way our program operates is we accept people who have been pre-qualified and have gone through home ownership classes. They then get matched to what best matches their needs from size to affordability,” King said, explaining how Habitat has not yet marketed this planned development.
The initial plan is to sell the units at their appraised values or for maximum affordability, which would likely be in the lower $200,000s.
The units will be equipped with appliances, a one-vehicle garage and residents can pick out their cabinetry and other elements for the units.
Typically, Habitat’s residential developments do not include amenities as the goal is to keep the cost per unit low.
However, there is a wetland area that Habitat can’t develop, but the organization may creatively work with the city to build some type of park or explore other ways it can take advantage of the wetland space.
King said Habitat is seeking funding through the county’s Penny for Pinellas dollars for the project and will go through the development review process with the City of Largo.
King said he hopes to have permits in place and break ground within the first six months following approvals. The units are expected to come online next fall.
In addition to the project for Largo, Habitat for Humanity recently closed on a property in Clearwater, at 1718 N. Betty Lane. The property was an old salvage yard, so there is significant environmental remediation that needs to be done, King said. However, Habitat plans to deliver 26 townhomes once the Clearwater site is completed.
The townhomes are solely for homeownership for those who earn below 80% of the area median income.