A house with a cottage-like porch surrounded by green vegetation attracts the attention of drivers and pedestrians in a neighborhood in southern St. Pete – but it’s not one house, it’s two residential units and it is the latest affordable housing project to open its doors.
The 1,700 square foot residential structure is a project the City of St. Petersburg and the Contemporary Housing Alternatives of Florida Inc. (CHAF) have worked on to provide affordable housing to low and moderate income households.
St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, CHAF members, St. Petersburg Region Chamber of Commerce members, St. Pete City Councilor Deborah Figgs-Sanders and others set foot inside residential units completed Monday morning, admiring the curb appeal and interior finishes.
The main unit (at 1863 13th St. S.) facing the street is a 1,000 square foot three bedroom house. It is embellished with laminate flooring, impact windows and new appliances. He stands out as a newcomer to the neighborhood of a known poor neighborhood.
“It looks like a single-family house, but you go to the back and there’s an entrance on the other side,” Kriseman noted, explaining how the residential project is actually two units sharing one roof. “Giving two families on one piece of land an affordable opportunity and place is life changing. ”
The second unit measures 700 square feet and has a completely different address.
“This is my street, my neighbors…” said Figgs-Sanders, also echoing Kriseman’s comments about how it looks like a single-family home.
It cost about $ 240,000 to build the two new units on the same lot.
The city provided $ 20,000 to offset the costs of land acquisition, infrastructure, utility and road improvements, permit fees, impact fees and other development costs associated with the project. building the units, according to a city spokesperson.
The construction process began in January and was delayed slightly due to Covid.
CHAF has four other vacant lots within a few miles of the new units. CHAF purchased the five lots for around $ 25,000 each before the pandemic broke.
“This is the first time in several years that we have started to expand and see a need for affordable housing in South St. Pete. We were lucky enough to find the prizes… ”said CHAF Senior Vice President Tracy Mater.
The other units have variations in design and floor plans.
Monthly unit rates have yet to be set, but the limit, Mater said, is around $ 1,250.
The organization also bought a small house at St. Petersburg High School.
In nearly three decades, CHAF has grown to own and manage over 700 units, and continues to expand into new real estate projects. Its properties span various phases of development – including rehabilitation and new construction, according to the company’s website.
Its properties in St. Pete include 31st Street Landings, Ashley Place Apartments, Magnolia Court, Northside Villas and others.
CHAF members said there is a waiting list of 45 interested in occupying the new units as they go live.