ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The need for affordable housing is growing in St. Petersburg.
- City studying purchase of church property on 64th Street South to build affordable housing
- Some neighboring homeowners not happy about the potential project
- Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Grace Connection Church
And tonight in St. Petersburg, a new idea will be presented to partially address the need. However, there is already some push back.
Grace Connection Church in St. Petersburg has offered to sell its property on 64th Street South to the city. St. Petersburg officials say the site, surrounded by single family homes, would be a strong candidate for a multi-family affordable housing community with up to 85 units.
The city council would have to purchase the project, which is a little less than five acres. That purchase would be under the Penny for Pinellas funds and be an estimated $1.75 million.
Neighbors in the area disagree, saying their property values, as well as the infrastructure would be negatively impacted. Some residents have even said they would move if the project happens.
Meanwhile, city officials said they plan on working with residents and hope tonight's meeting will put them at ease. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Grace Connection Church Meeting Hall.
"The city would have long term oversight," said Neighborhood Affairs Administrator Robert Gerdes. "So the city would be involved throughout the whole process we believe this would be an extremely attractive and well managed property that would actually be a potential asset to the neighborhood."
Still, many residents have expressed concerns.
"Where do we go as residents to be able to keep our neighborhood quiet," said resident Lisa Wright. "And from a large complex going up in our neighborhood of single family owned homes."
Officials said it is very early in the process and the public will have several opportunities to voice their opinions. Starting tonight, a series of public meetings will take place before any plans would be finalized.