From a Dirt Lot to a Brand-new Building - North Tampa's Newest Affordable Housing is Complete
Hillsborough County continues to add to the local affordable housing inventory as it and partner Catholic Charities unveiled a brand-new affordable housing complex in the Tampa Overlook neighborhood on Thursday, Sept. 15. Mercy Oaks is a 20-unit apartment complex built specifically to house working, low-income families. The complex's one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments will be available for rent at below-market rates by October. Prior to breaking ground on the complex, the lot was undeveloped.
The apartments at 10017 N. Florida Ave. stand under the cool shade of old oak trees. Unlike most other affordable housing projects, the Mercy Oaks apartments are brand-new. Instead of refurbishing existing structures to create move-in ready homes, Mercy Oaks was constructed from the ground up for the sole purpose of housing working families affordably.
In addition to fresh flooring, shiny granite counter tops, and sleek appliances, the apartments provide a convenient location for residents. A HART bus stop (route 1) is only a few steps from residents' front doors, giving tenants easy access to public transportation. For residents without cars, hopping on the bus to get to and from work and shop at the surrounding grocery markets will help make life easier.
New resident Carrieann Edwards, who attended the ceremony, was excited about the opportunities the convenient location and a new apartment will open for her. "I'm happy because I've got my own stuff, and I can do whatever I want," she said of her new home.
Mercy Oaks was made possible through funding from Hillsborough County and the Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg. The County provided a $2.4 million grant and Catholic Charities supplied the remaining necessary $1.5 million.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured remarks by Hillsborough County officials, as well as Maggie Rogers, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, and Bishop Gregory Parkes, who provided a prayer and blessing for the new building.
With housing prices still on the rise and an influx of residents moving to the area, affordable housing options are scarcer than ever. To address these challenges, Hillsborough County has prioritized affordable housing. The County has invested more than $54 million into the community in 2021, directly impacting more than 24,300 households. The programs and services funded by the County focus on creating new affordable housing opportunities and funding infrastructure improvements that enhance surrounding communities. The County also funds training for residents to further their careers in order to afford home ownership. Earlier this month, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners approved up to $16.2 million American Rescue Plan funding for affordable housing for low income residents in the County.
More information and resources are available through Hillsborough County Affordable Housing.