Board of County Commissioners Meeting Recap for Sept. 8
During the Sept. 8, 2022, Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting, commissioners declared Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic Americans make up nearly 30 percent of Hillsborough County's population. Commissioners recognized the achievements of Hispanic Americans and the contributions that have positively impacted Hillsborough County.
Commissioners approved using $16.2 million in American Rescue Plan funds to acquire and rehab Armature Place Apartments, a 96-unit multifamily rental property on Busch Boulevard in Tampa. The apartments will provide affordable housing for low-income residents making 80 percent or less of the area median income. Rehab on the units is expected to be finished in March 2024.
The board approved a financing plan for Hillsborough County's Housing Finance Authority's Mortgage Credit Certificate Program. The program helps first-time homebuyers save money each year they live in their newly purchased home. The program allows homebuyers to claim a tax credit for a portion of mortgage interest paid per year, up to $2,000 for the life of the loan. This is a Housing Finance Authority bond issue, and no County funds will be used.
Commissioners directed County staff to research options for a possible apprentice program targeting ex-offenders aimed at helping them get the training needed to land jobs. Staff will explore partnering with the City of Tampa, and review ways to strengthen Hillsborough County's hiring practices related to ex-offenders.
The board asked staff to bring back possible ways the County can address and enforce interior mold complaints inside rental properties. The County's current code states that interiors of all buildings shall be kept free of any visible growth of mold or mildew.
Some options to protect renters include:
• Updating the Tenant's Bill of Rights with mold resources
• Notifying the Tampa Housing Authority of client complaints
• Providing violation notices to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Commissioners received an update on the sale of delta-8 hemp products in Hillsborough County. Since launching an educational awareness campaign in March, Code Enforcement has visited nearly 200 businesses in the county that sell Delta-8 products. Staff found that nearly half didn't have the proper hemp food permit, but only a few had trademarked or improperly labeled products. Delta-8 products have been found in packaging that resembles popular snack foods and candies that could be appealing to children. As of now, Code Enforcement has not received any resident complaints about delta-8 products or retail sales to minors. The department will continue outreach efforts to educate store owners and residents about the potential risks and promptly respond to any reported concerns.
The next BOCC regular meeting is at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. You can watch the meeting live on YouTube on the Hillsborough County Meetings channel.
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