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St. Pete 2.0: How can St. Pete best address the affordable housing crisis? [Survey]

Jason Mathis



Burlington Place, an affordable development at 3155 Burlington Ave. in St. Petersburg

The St. Petersburg renaissance has been in full swing for over a decade. We’ve excelled in many areas and struggled in others. In our series, St. Pete 2.0, we’re partnering with the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership to explore what lies on the other side of our potential – what will it take to move to the “next level” as a city? Through this series, we’ll dig into specific topics with the hope that you, our thoughtful citizens, will share your insight, experience and wisdom. 

Let’s start with a simple premise: everyone deserves a clean, comfortable and safe place to live. Like many other communities, St. Petersburg is struggling to provide housing for all the people who want to live here, at a price everyone can afford. And like any complex, urban challenge, there are many interrelated factors (stagnant wages, high construction costs, suburban zoning requirements, NIMBYism, etc.) that all contribute to the affordable housing challenge. As a community, we need to create and preserve housing options that will meet our current and future needs.

In a letter to the City Council last year, the Downtown Partnership recommended working with the business community to identify best practices and to think creatively about how to incentivize affordable housing. Our voice was one of many in this conversation, and city leaders have been working on this issue for a long time. But there has been meaningful progress that we shouldn’t take for granted. Over the past several months, city leaders have moved forward on a variety of fronts to encourage the private sector to help build housing for middle class and lower-wage employees while helping to create stronger more vibrant, economically diverse communities. The City’s efforts are not perfect, nor are they a silver bullet to solve this enormous and complex challenge. But they are thoughtful and welcome. And they show real commitment to finding solutions in an expedited way.

We’re interested in hearing from you, community leaders, business owners and citizens of St. Petersburg about how we can creatively solve the affordable housing crisis. Click the button below to take our survey.

Possible public policy solutions are listed. Please choose 3-5 of the solutions you think would be most useful and provide comments on how St. Petersburg can use these tools to solve the housing crisis.

Housing Survey


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  1. Avatar

    Ruby Johnson

    October 25, 2019at3:20 am

    I’m a natuve of St. Pete. and I have literally come to hate my city because the answer is simple to affordable housing. Remodel existing empty and dilapidated houses and provide affordable housing for the working poor such as myself. It’s a shame I have to work 4 jobs to afford to live and to live.

    • Avatar

      Roxanne Stein

      October 25, 2019at1:51 pm

      I moved down here from NY a year ago., Long Island to be exact. I struggle to afford $1000 in rent each month and will now look into shared housing. As a single woman in her 50’s I thought the move here would give me a nicer, relaxed way of life! Not so I stress over my monthly rent. This is not NYC and these new apartments charging $1300 and up for a studio is ridiculous!!

    • Avatar

      Theresa Dorman

      October 25, 2019at7:44 pm

      It’s too late for re-hab, those homes are being gobbled up by out out of state vulture caps and property management companies. Based on population, a tual land available and the demand affordable housing can’t possibly be achieved through single family dwellings. This town is going to have voucher assist apt projects,

  2. Avatar

    Shawn Kingsley

    October 25, 2019at11:12 am

    I think it’s a great thing that values are going up in the city (homeowner) there are still some area that are affordable like in the south of the city. I understand some people cannot afford to live here and that’s how it is in almost every major city in the country. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it any thriving city price go up. I think if prices were dropping then there would be a reason for it and people would not want to live here.

  3. Avatar

    Randall Byers

    October 25, 2019at1:29 pm

    I currently live and work in beautiful downtown St.Petersburg.
    I am reminded daily of the comparison between wages and the cost of living.
    At the Sundial mall and surrounding area We enjoy some of the most attractive features of the downtown area including great lunch specials at shops like Locale Market and Oak and Stone. But unfortunately most of the downtown working class can’t even sfford to eat Where they work or even in the area they work. I think the answer to the problem is for the working class to start demanding a more appropriate wage for the job They are doing.”stop taking jobs for what they are offering!” And also Business owners need to realize what it costs to live Here and pay employees accordingly! You don’t deserve waterfront homes and limo’s while the people that earn that money for you live off welfare! “Pay a liveable wage!!”
    Somehow I don’t see why these solutions are anything less than simple common sense

  4. Avatar

    Peter Stanley

    October 25, 2019at7:34 pm

    I also used to love this city, but they’re are more greedy slum lord’s emerged in the last 10 years. I lost my house during the recession, so I started renting. It was only 2 years ago that I rented where I live for $700. My new lease in December is now $1200.i wish my pay structure would rise as much as my rent!

  5. Avatar

    Deborah Tiabo

    October 26, 2019at7:33 am

    I’m from St. Petersburg I had to leave the state because I could not afford the rent and I’m over 60 and disable I love to move back home where all my dear friends are it’s truly a shame a place you call home but can’t afford to live there I pray and hope before I die are get to old to travel I be bless to move back st.pete is truly a beautiful place to live .

  6. Avatar

    Rose Smith-Hayes

    October 27, 2019at7:07 pm

    I agree with most of the above comments. Land/vacant houses are being gobbled up by out of state corporations that care absolutely nothing about locals. Our current Mayor has only shown most of the time that he wants to make a name for himself. African American residents have been screwed over for years. Land taken, promises made, not kept. Rent doubles and wages stay the same. Who will pay these high rents?? Jesus said ‘you will always have the poor with you’, then it is the responsibility of All especially those in leadership, to take care of All citizens. The economy zooms on and wages remain stagnant.
    Affordable housing did not suddenly become an issue, it has been ignored for years.

    • Avatar

      Wendy Martin

      November 22, 2019at6:54 pm

      So,so true.

  7. Avatar

    ZsaZsaa Mop

    October 30, 2019at2:26 pm

    Just say no, because its affordable for who? not people in my neightborhood, with prices of 1300 and up for a studio, and 2300 for a 3br apt, parents with children, don’t have a chance if there just above low income.

    • Avatar

      S. Rose Smith-Hayes

      November 5, 2019at1:22 pm

      ‘ICON” at 9th Street(MLK) and Central Avenue, a one bedroom is $1850 and a 3 bedroom is $4,000. who will live there???

  8. Avatar

    Wendy Martin

    November 22, 2019at7:01 pm

    I’ve always said that Rick kriesman is only trying to make a name for himself and that means excluding the less fortunate!!

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