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Seven housing projects receive city ARPA funds

Mark Parker



A rendering of the Burlington Post development, at 3100 Burlington Ave. N. Its developer will receive $5.6 million in funding for 75 affordable units. Screengrab.

After receiving statewide recognition for dedicating 76% of American Rescue Plan Act funding to affordable housing solutions, St. Petersburg City Councilmembers have now allocated $23.8 million to seven projects.

The developments are exempt from the city’s Community Benefits Program as each will offer all units as affordable or workforce housing. That means the 483 total apartments are for those making at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI).

During Thursday’s council meeting, Stephanie Lampe, housing development coordinator, said that 60 units are for households making less than 30% of the AMI. Developers will reserve the vast majority – 329 – for people earning no more than 60% of that amount.

Lampe reminded the council that 80% of the AMI for a family of four is about $65,700. A single person at 50% would earn $28,750 annually. Those two households, explained Lampe, would pay $1,478 for a four-bedroom and $790 for a one-bedroom unit, respectively.

“We allocate this money, and we wonder how much good are we really going to be able to do, and how far can we spread it,” said Vice Chair Brandi Gabbard. “The fact that 68% of those units are under 60% (AMI) – I think is just incredible.”

A graphic showing the addresses, cost and the number of units for the seven projects. Screengrab.

Lampe relayed that the city issued a request for proposals in June, and the council approved seven projects throughout the city with a total cost of $106.4 million Thursday. In addition to ARPA money, city officials will dedicate $3 million in Penny for Pinellas funding to support the St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s transformation of the former Ed White Hospital into 70 apartments.

The Penny money, said Lampe, will go towards the senior housing aspect of the development. She added that the SPHA would also move some of its administrative offices into the building.

As the ARPA requests exceeded the city’s allocation, Lampe noted administrators would also provide money from other housing sources. City funding will cover nearly 32% of the projects’ total cost, or $33.8 million.

Lampe explained that affordability terms range between 30 to 99 years, depending on remaining financing options. Projects participating in the Penny for Pinellas land trust “are permanently affordable because they received the extra funding for that,” she said.

Three developers recently asked for more money to cover increased costs, noted Councilmember Richie Floyd. However, Lampe said those are the projects closest to “producing units.”

“I’m a little frustrated by that,” said Floyd. “But I do understand the situation that we’re in right now.”

Gabbard relayed that she did the math and said the city would subsidize $57,000 per unit.

City officials will dedicate $3 million in Penny for Pinellas funding to support the St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s transformation of the former Ed White Hospital into 70 affordable apartments. Screengrab.

Councilmember Deborah Figgs-Sanders expressed her frustration with a lack of timely information on how constituents can apply to projects the council supports. She said that by the time she attends a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a waiting list with hundreds of people is already in place.

Lampe said the city requires every developer to list vacant units on There, people can identify potential housing options and join the wait lists.

Several entities utilizing various funding sources presents challenges, said Chair Gina Driscoll. She asked administrators for monthly progress updates or reports on the projects to celebrate and share milestones along the way.

“It takes a lot to make this happen and even more to make it successful,” said Driscoll. “But thanks to the hard work of the administration, staff and our partners in development, we are on the path to that success.”

The city council unanimously approved five resolutions regarding the allocation of funding to the seven projects.

View the website Lampe referred to here. Florida Housing Search also offers a toll-free number for those without internet access: 1-877-428-8844.




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