The City of Tampa is continuing its fight to cut out crime and restore one of the area’s oldest neighborhoods.

  • Phase One of Sulphur Springs project completed in 2014
  • Phase Two will offer 18 new affordable housing opportunities
  • "There's a sense of optimism," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn

On Saturday, Mayor Bob Buckhorn, members of "Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay", and "Building a Healthier Sulphur Springs" broke ground on Phase Two of the Sulphur Springs Revitalization Project.

The project will offer 18 new affordable housing opportunities for local families. Mayor Buckhorn said the sense of stability will bring the community together and make it safer.

"I think the good people are coming out on the streets now, they're not hiding in their own houses," said Buckhorn. "I think the school system has recognized that, they're building a K-12 school there so they can keep track of the kids."

Sulphur Springs, one of Tampa’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods, has been plagued with crime and violence in recent decades. The city completed Phase One of the housing project in 2014.

We checked the numbers, and the crime rate hasn’t changed much. Buckhorn, however, said he’s noticed progress, with residents putting in more effort to clean up their community.

"The neighborhood is taking ownership and they're taking pride again. There's a sense of optimism," Mayor Buckhorn said.

Long-time Sulphur Springs resident Ronnie Paris was volunteering to mow his elderly neighbors’ lawns on Saturday near the groundbreaking site. He said he was excited to see the new development, and believes it will help restore the community’s reputation.

"Make the neighborhoods look better, be better, because we'll get people in here that'll help us out and do the right thing," Paris said.