TAMPA, Fla. — Hundreds of low-income Tampa residents will now have to move out of their apartment complex because they've been told their building has been sold.
- Low-income Tampa residents forced to move
- Tampa Park Apartments sold to developer
- Section 8 recipients will receive vouchers to find new home
The future of Tampa Park Apartments has been the subject of speculation for at least two years. The 21-acre location, which houses 370 apartments and 1200 residents, was once speculated as a likely site of a Tampa Bay Rays stadium in Hillsborough County.
Rumors of a buy have persisted and were never confirmed by the owner — but it's clear that residents have to find a new place to live.
Since 1994, 80-year-old Robert Whitehead has called Tampa Park Apartments home. Last week, he found a pink note attached to his front door asking for a meeting with the property manager about his lease.
"You can't get nowhere called a reasonable deal no more. Rent is getting so expensive now," Whitehead said.
He said he was told he and his neighbors would have to leave by November because the property has been sold.
"Some developer bought the place. But she said the Rays didn't buy it. I don't know if she's telling the truth or not because I heard the Rays are trying to get back in Tampa again," Whitehead explained.
A spokeswoman with Housing and Urban Development said Tampa Park opted out of its contract with the agency last year.
Right now, 34 low income tenants receive section 8, a government subsidy which reduces their rent below market rate. Those tenants have since received federal vouchers from HUD and will get assistance from the Tampa Housing Authority to find a new place to live.
Spectrum Bay News 9 reached out to the owner of the complex Tuesday afternoon but did not get a call back. And the property manager had no comment on the matter.