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PERC proposes affordable tiny home village in South St. Pete

Veronica Brezina

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A rendering of the tiny homes proposed for South St. Pete. All images: PERC.

The Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-entry Coalition, which aims to help ex-offenders secure jobs, is proposing to turn dirt at a South St. Pete site for a tiny home village dedicated to the workforce.

PERC submitted an offer letter to the city to acquire the property at the northwest corner of 18th Avenue and 18th Street South, 2034 9th St. South, and 634 22nd Ave. South to build 32 to 34 tiny home units. 

A rendering of the tiny home community.  

 

Mike Jalazo, executive director of PERC, says the group has been in conversations with the city over the past several years about this concept at the site and said in its offer letter, “This approach is ready, and our team is ready.” 

Through PERC’s tiny home program, its initiative offers a construction training program for students who can gain skills for construction jobs while also addressing the shortage of affordable housing. 

PERC’s offer was submitted after Nasmate Homes submitted an unsolicited proposal to the city several weeks ago to acquire it. 

Due to Namasté’s unsolicited proposal, the city invited any alternative proposals from private developers interested in undertaking the lease, purchase or development of the site. On March 9, the submittals were due and the city published a proposal from Habitat for Humanity but didn’t immediately publish the proposal from PERC. 

“When Namaste made the proposal, we went ahead and submitted ours for all three lots,” Jalazo told the St. Pete Catalyst. “We aren’t building this for a specific demographic, we are trying to help solve the need for affordable housing. Our job is to help people get jobs, but the problem is finding homes close to those jobs.” 

PERC is asking for the city to donate the property. PERC would oversee ownership, maintenance, and management of the development for leasing to renters, which will be rental units only. 

“There’s no community like this right now. We want these to be long-term homes for the workforce,” he said. 

The units will be rented to residents earning at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). 

A rendering of the interior of a tiny home.  

The tiny homes would be roughly 430 square feet and feature a loft and at least one bedroom. Jalazo said the rent would likely be between $600 to $700 per month.

PERC would work with the Florida Dream Center, which provides services to residents and the homeless, and Cleveland Construction. 

PERC has worked on other housing projects and is currently in the midst of acquiring two motels within Pinellas County, where it plans to use one site for its programming. The other motel site would be demolished to make way for another tiny home community with 29 units.  

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Deborah Richardson

    March 18, 2022at3:45 pm

    As a small business owner in this area, this idea is perfect for me. I’m one of the working homeless and locked into this area because my clients are here in this area. I simply cannot leave this town. Otherwise I would have to start all over in another town. Please let me get in on this!

  2. Avatar

    Shawn

    March 18, 2022at6:29 pm

    How do u apply or where to apply

  3. Avatar

    R Q

    March 18, 2022at10:36 pm

    I think it’s a fantastic idea. They can use materials that last a long time. Help people, but also have strict rules for renters. And maybe timeliness so other renters can also get on their feet.

  4. Avatar

    Elizabeth Moore Rugg

    March 19, 2022at5:25 pm

    I think this is a fantastic idea. The re-entry population has an opportunity to learn valuable skills in the construction trade and provide sweat-equity into a home they may one day live in. There are services, bus lines, and employment opportunties in the area, and it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

    Do it, St. Pete!

  5. Avatar

    DL

    March 19, 2022at6:22 pm

    We have plenty of low income housing in South St Pete. How about choosing a different area and let that lot on 6th/22nd Ave S to some nice townhomes

  6. Avatar

    DA

    March 21, 2022at9:31 am

    While I rarely criticize a development idea, I must disagree with DL’s statement about “plenty of low income housing”. I see that the proposed lot happens to be in an already “changing” environment, no objection was proposed for the other two areas.

    Here’s what’s happening: As spaces previously occupied by low income tenants become available, landlords are either selling their portfolios or rehabbing the properties and increasing the rent. There’s a law that prohibits discrimination based on “source of income”; however, there’s a work around. If the requested rent exceeds the amount of any voucher for this area (based on BR configuration), coupled with a requirement for 3X the rent for monthly income, the applicant will not qualify.

    I, too, am all in on the free market that is capitalism, but let’s not act like we don’t see the consequences.

    I’ve been an advocate for tooling the community with technology skills that will lift individuals from poverty. Yes, people need shelter, but assisted shelter should always come with additional responsibilities and time limits (exceptions for certain situations are understandable).

  7. Avatar

    Heidi Pritty

    March 26, 2022at12:15 am

    How does one apply for living in one?

  8. Avatar

    Janet norwell

    August 26, 2022at7:03 pm

    Had it been acquired and how can i apply for home

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