Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County is investing $1.5 million in South St. Petersburg in 2017. Community leaders are calling that investment a "win-win" for both the city and its residents.

  • Nonprofit hosted "habi-tour" to show off renovations, current build site
  • Organization has helped build 105 homes in South St. Pete since 1985
  • Investment is area's largest home construction boost in more than 10 years

The nonprofit took more than 50 community leaders on a tour — called a “habi-tour” — of its progress Monday. Officials showed off some of the organization's recent renovations, newly completed homes and a current building site.

Shamira Burton and her two children will be moving into one of the homes under construction.

"This home is going to be the start of amazing things for me and my family,” Burton said.

Habitat Pinellas has built 105 homes in South St. Petersburg since 1985. Now that the housing market is back up, the group has its sights set back on the area.

Mike Sutton, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County CEO, said the revitalization will help increase property values and instill a greater sense of pride in the area.

"It stimulates something within the community where people, they want to invest in their property, they want to make sure it’s a place they can call home,” Sutton said.

Community leaders, including City Councilor Karl Nurse, applauded the group's vision and their investment, the largest home construction boost South St. Petersburg has seen in over 10 years.

"Think about the difference between a new house next to you and a vacant, abandoned lot. The difference is dramatic. So it’s like a shot in the arm into a block every time there’s a new habitat house on a block,” Nurse said.