Building More Affordable Homes

Our countywide affordable housing fund is designed to help everyone find an affordable place to live in Pinellas. This fund uses a limited portion of the Penny sales tax (4.15%) to invest around $80 million toward expanding housing options over the next decade through qualified development and rehabilitation projects. The program was developed in accordance with project priorities adopted ahead of 2017 Penny for Pinellas referendum.

The County is looking for a variety of applicants, including developers who specialize in affordable housing and those who traditionally build market-rate developments as well as municipal and nonprofit partners.

Female worker with plans in hand
penny for pinellas logo

HOW TO APPLY

To qualify, prospective projects must include affordable units for income-qualified households. The Board of County Commissioners (BCC) has adopted program guidelines to prioritize projects based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, range of incomes served, number of units, and financial commitment by the project developer. These guidelines were developed by a countywide committee including local municipal agency partners.

Applicants seeking funding for eligible projects will be required to submit an application that is reviewed and scored based on weighted project categories, and then forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners for consideration.

Program Highlights

  • The Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program uses revenue from the voter approved 1-percent sales tax along with other public and private investment to preserve and develop more affordable housing.
  • The County has committed an estimated $80 million over the next decade to use with public and private investment for the development and preservation of affordable housing units.
  • Funds may be used for land acquisition or for capital projects associated with the development, construction and major rehabilitation of housing units affordable to the local workforce.
  • Allowable project types can vary greatly. Projects may include some market rate units but must include at least 30% of the total units as affordable to households earning no more than 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
  • In addition to program funding, Pinellas County has a number of other incentives available to facilitate affordable housing development (i.e. density bonuses, regulatory flexibility, etc.)

Applications for the program are taken on a rolling basis throughout the year. Builders and developers with projects in Pinellas County that meet program requirements are welcome to complete the application process to begin staff review.

sidewalk with building view

PROCESS

See the review process for project applications below.
Overall time period from start to finish depends on the project and overall completeness of the application.

  • 1. APPLICATION

  • 2. INITIAL REVIEW

  • 3. MULTI-DEPARTMENT REVIEW AND SCORE

  • 4. FORWARD TO BCC

  • 5. BCC AWARD DETERMINATION & DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY

  • 6. BEGIN DUE DILIGENCE PERIOD

Review and approval process takes approximately 60 days

Projects will be reviewed by staff following the submittal, and recommended projects will go to the County Commission for approval.
Applications will continue to be taken as long as funding remains available.

Project Event picture

Approved Projects

As of February 2022, nine projects have been conditionally approved by the Board of County Commissioners and have begun the development process.

The table below provides a detailed summary of the approved projects.

Development Name Funded Amount Total Dev Cost Total Units Affordable Units Subsidy/
Affordable Unit
Set Asides
Skyway Lofts  $    700,000.00  $ 16,462,296.00 65 65  $ 10,769.00 10 < 30%
42 < 60%
13 < 80%
The Shores  $    750,000.00  $ 12,600,000.00 51 51  $ 14,706.00 51 < 60%
Arya (FKA New Northeast)  $ 4,000,000.00  $ 97,000,000.00 415 124  $ 32,258.00 59 units < 80%
65 units < 120% remaining units market rate
Washington Avenue Apartments  $ 5,620,000.00  $ 38,436,995.00 171 171  $ 32,865.00 18 < 80%
49 < 100%
104 < 120%
Innovare  $ 1,000,000.00  $ 16,933,148.00 51 50  $ 20,000.00 4 < 30%
8 < 50%
38 < 60%
1 at Market Rate
Blue Dolphin Tower  $ 2,000,000.00  $ 28,124,651.00 81 81  $ 24,691.00 69 < 60%
12 < 80%
Oakhurst Trace  $ 6,750,000.00  $ 50,821,370.00 220 220  $ 30,682.00 220 < 60%
Seminole Square Apartments  $ 4,000,000.00  $ 27,553,517.00 96 96  $ 41,667.00 45 < 60%
51 < 80%
Whispering Pines  $    680,000.00  $   5,576,614.00 20 20  $ 34,000.00 4 < 30%
11 < 50%
5 < 60%

HOUSING PROJECT FRAMEWORK

Goal

Increase the number of affordable housing units throughout Pinellas County by supporting the development of new affordable units and preservation/rehabilitation of existing affordable units.

Eligible Projects

  • Minimum 10 affordable units / No Maximum Unit Count
  • A Minimum of 30% of the units must be affordable

Eligible Use Of Funds

  • Land Acquisition as authorized by Florida Statute Section 212.055(2)(d)(1)(e)  All land acquired with designated land acquisition funds will remain in ownership by a local government or special district.
  • Capital Projects as authorized by Florida Statute Section 212.055(2)(d)(3)  Includes the hard costs associated with site improvements, infrastructure and building construction including major rehabilitation of existing units.

Ineligible Use Of Funds

Financing, administrative or operating costs (other restrictions may apply)

Young couple with home keys

PROJECT SCORING

Each category is weighted based on funding preferences. The scoring will help staff prepare recommendation reports for each application to the Board of County Commissioners. The County will include the scoring results, the adopted program guidelines, and other quantitative and qualitative information to develop project recommendations.

What You’ll Need To apply

To apply for funds, a complete application including supplemental developer and project information must be submitted. Please note: applications will only be eligible for review if all of the required documents are included. Please review the application for the required documents, which include:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Insurance Documentation
  • Evidence of Site Control
  • Property Information
  • Preliminary Site Plan
  • Development Schedule
  • Development Budget Sources and Uses

How to Apply

  • Review the Sample Application
  • Gather necessary documents
  • Apply online

TIMELINE OF APPLICATION CYCLES

Round 1 June 29-August 31, 2020 (Complete)

On January 12, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) approved four projects recommended by staff. More information on the approved projects can be found by clicking the links below:

November 13, 2020 – BCC Worksession Agenda Materials for Item #20-204A

January 12, 2021 – BCC Public Hearing Presentation of the Recommended Projects

January 12, 2021 – BCC Agenda Materials for Item # 20-2127A

Round 2 October 1-November 30, 2020 (Complete)

No applications were recommended from round 2 applicants.

Round 3 February 1-March 31, 2021 (COMPLETE)

On June 22, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) approved four projects recommended by staff. More information on the approved projects can be found by clicking the links below.

June 22, 2021- BCC Agenda Materials for Item #21-1031A

Round 4 June 7th, 2021 Onward

NEW! Beginning June 7th, 2021, applications will be accepted at any time, subject to funding availability. Please ensure your application contains all required documentation to avoid delays in review and processing.