What does “affordable” really mean?

From first-time homebuyers to renters, finding a place to live in Pinellas has never been more difficult or expensive. The largest cost burden often falls on those we depend on most: teachers, medical assistants, first responders, grocery store workers, and many others who make our community work. They are most at risk of having to move away if they can’t afford to live here. To keep our community whole and ensure quality of life for everyone, we need to solve the housing affordability crisis.

But what exactly is “affordable” housing?

Here are a few examples:

New apartment communities where rent is reduced to an affordable level for families making 80% or less of the Area’s Median Income (80% AMI starts at $46K/year for an individual, increasing with household size).

Workforce housing developments that serve a mix of income levels, up to 120% AMI ($69K/year for an individual).

Making more room for affordability in the market through a mix of housing types/sizes– e.g., allowing more homeowners to add garage apartments.

Teacher smiling with students in class
Teacher smiling with students in class


Housing is a big challenge, but we can overcome it together:

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The average percentage of income spent on housing & transportation in Pinellas
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Affordable housing units needed each year to keep pace with population grown in Pinellas
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Median Pinellas household income
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Median home price in Pinellas

These numbers don’t add up

  • In 2020, 1 in 3 Pinellas households were paying more than they can reasonably afford for housing – that is, 30% or more of their income.
  • Between 2021 and 2022, existing home sales prices for the Tampa Bay region increased by 26%: Nationally, this increase was 11%.
  • Tampa Bay ranked 18 out of 20 in housing affordability in a 2023 study comparing income and housing costs in 20 comparison communities around the country.
Pinellas County street view
Group of volunteers pose for a picture at a home build.

Be Part of the Solution

Join the coalition of local governments, business leaders, community advocates and others uniting around a common approach to ensure a safe, quality home remains attainable for the people who make Pinellas work. Become a Pinellas Housing Champion.

Hear what our partners have to say

Pinellas County, Forward Pinellas, and our cities have developed a plan to meet our residents’ housing needs, but we need more cities, developers, neighborhood leaders, and everyone who loves their community to make this plan a success.