The goal is simple: to create more housing choices that are attainable by people at all income levels. A growing number of local governments have signed the Advantage Pinellas Housing Compact, which sets out shared policy goals to increase housing linked to transportation, jobs, schools, workforce development, and other services. This Housing Action Plan aims to meet those goals over the next 10 years with a range of actions.
The Action Plan provides both short- and long-term actions that compact members and other community partners can pursue together. Partners work together to address affordable housing needs, but each local government retains authority over local decision-making, including funding, staff, and land-use regulations.
Top 10 Housing Action Plan Steps
- Welcome diverse new housing options by updating codes to allow for a range of homes, such as townhomes, accessory dwelling units, tiny homes, mixed-use buildings & more.
- Simplify regulations across county-city lines to make it easier to develop homes at a range of income levels.
- Maximize housing near transportation, jobs, education & other amenities by offering increased residential density along major corridors.
- Solidify new development funding sources, such as loans for workforce housing near transit.
- Incentivize permanent affordability, including shared equity homeownership, which keeps prices stable even as the housing market changes over time.
- Empower struggling homeowners to protect and improve their homes through financial support programs.
- Set targets for new market-rate, workforce and affordable housing units to fill the current gap.
- Transform surplus government land into homes through public-private partnerships.
- Reduce homelessness through expanded rapid re-housing, including potential support for hotel conversions.
- Build a coalition of public, private and nonprofit partners to develop & act on creative solutions.
Ways YOU Can Help
- Elected Officials: Become a housing champion by understanding the Housing Action Plan and making the policy decisions that will create more housing choices.
- Planners: Inform your decision-makers about the benefits of the Housing Action Plan and how strategies that have worked in other communities can also work here.
- Communicators: Learn about the Housing Action Plan and how you can participate in engaging the public.
- Businesses: Help us understand how a lack of housing choice affects your workforce and take part in finding solutions that work for your community and your business needs.
- Banks/Finance Industry: Help create more private funding options for housing that’s affordable and help us learn what’s worked in other places. Let’s find solutions together.
- Developers: Share what you need to build more affordable and mixed-income housing. What barriers stand in your way? How can we better address neighbors’ concerns? Let’s work together to create more homes.
- Housing Advocates: Help us turn the Housing Action Plan into reality by showing your support at public meetings across our communities. Our elected officials listen to you!
Be Part of the Solution
Business owners, nonprofits, community advocates – everyone has a role to play, whether it’s attending public meetings, talking to local leaders and neighbors, or coming up with creative ideas to fund and build more homes.
Sign up to be a Housing Champion and we will contact with you with specific ways you can help promote housing choices in Pinellas:
The Housing Compact
The Advantage Pinellas Housing Compact offers a coordinated approach to increase affordable housing linked to transportation, jobs, schools, workforce development and other services. Developed by Pinellas County, Forward Pinellas, and staff from the four largest municipalities (St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, and Pinellas Park), the compact outlines a common set of policies to create more housing that’s affordable countywide. The compact is part of the Advantage Pinellas plan to address long-term, countywide needs for transportation, jobs, and housing.
Read the Compact
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Advantage Pinellas Housing Compact
This Compact is made and entered into this day of ,____, by and between the municipalities within Pinellas County, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, and Forward Pinellas (“the Partners”).
WHEREAS, Pinellas County is a vibrant community of nearly one million residents and 25 local governments, with a uniquely diverse array of communities and lifestyle options, and a robust local economy; and
WHEREAS, the continued quality of life and economic health of our community depends on residents being able to afford safe, quality housing with multi-modal transportation to jobs and educational opportunities; and
WHEREAS, residents living in stable, affordable housing are better able to participate in the workforce, obtain an education, meet daily needs, and remain healthy; and
WHEREAS, employers are better able to attract and retain a stable workforce when residents can find quality affordable housing close to their workplaces, avoiding burdensome commutes; and
WHEREAS, housing costs in Pinellas County are rising significantly faster than household incomes; and
WHEREAS, nearly one in five households in Pinellas County is cost-burdened, spending more than 30 percent of its income on housing; and
WHEREAS, lower-income, minority, and elderly residents are disproportionately likely to live in cost-burdened households; and
WHEREAS, local governments play a critical role in fostering social equity through housing and development policies and strategies; and
WHEREAS, Pinellas County will need an increase of nearly 1,000 affordable housing units per year this decade to keep pace with population growth; and
WHEREAS, addressing the need for affordable housing will require a coordinated strategy of housing construction, rehabilitation, mitigation, preservation, and household assistance; and
WHEREAS, affordable housing production depends on a combination of public, private, nonprofit, and citizen partners; and
WHEREAS, there are 25 local governments in Pinellas County, each with its own affordable housing needs, resources, and policies; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of Pinellas County have made a significant commitment to meeting the community’s need for affordable housing by approving the government infrastructure sales surtax in 2019 (Penny for Pinellas IV); and
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners has allocated a projected $80 Million of Penny for Pinellas revenue over the next ten years to preserve and develop affordable housing; and
WHEREAS, Pinellas County has shown a significant commitment to providing affordable housing through its dedicated Community Housing Trust Fund and Land Trust Program; and
WHEREAS, there are significant countywide resources dedicated to planning for the coordination of land use, transportation, and economic development; and
WHEREAS, local governments in Pinellas County are collaborating on the economic, environmental, and societal vitality and resiliency of their respective communities, in order to support a thriving local economy and create opportunities to attract new businesses and economic investments; and
WHEREAS, an integrated, cooperative, countywide approach is needed to align and maximize these resources and truly meet the need for housing affordability.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GOVERNING BODIES OF THE PARTNERS THAT:
SECTION 1. The Partners agree to work toward a planning strategy that prioritizes locating affordable housing, jobs, educational opportunities, and workforce development resources along corridors (within ½ mile) planned for high-quality transit service as identified in the Advantage Pinellas Plan.
SECTION 2. The Partners agree to work toward coordinating the development of affordable housing with planning for healthy communities, including access to parks and recreational resources, pedestrian/bicycle facilities, healthy food sources, and medical care providers.
SECTION 3. The Partners agree to work toward addressing racial, social, economic, and geographic inequality in the provision of affordable housing in Pinellas County.
SECTION 4. The Partners agree to work toward planning for greater resiliency, by reducing impacts to current and future housing stock through diverse and localized adaptation and building strategies designed to reduce risks from flooding, major storms, and other natural hazards.
SECTION 5. The Partners agree to work toward the provision of safe, quality housing that is accessible to residents of diverse ages, abilities, and provides both rental and ownership opportunities.
SECTION 6. The Partners agree to work with affordable housing developers, community groups, citizens, and other stakeholders related to the implementation of this Compact.
SECTION 7. The Partners agree to work toward creating an affordable housing action plan to serve as a common, coordinated framework for addressing affordable housing needs, while respecting the autonomy of each local jurisdiction.
SECTION 8. As a component of the action plan, the Partners agree to work toward developing specific goals to meet housing needs and shared terminology and definitions addressing affordable housing.
SECTION 9. The Partners agree to work toward creating a joint communications and outreach program, including developing a website to serve as an information portal for residents, local businesses, developers, non-profit community organizations, and other stakeholders.
SECTION 10. The Partners agree to work toward developing a centralized data repository and performance metrics to identify needs and measure progress toward the action plan.
SECTION 11. The Partners agree to develop a usable regulatory toolkit for local governments, including:
- A menu of regulatory incentives to encourage affordable housing construction, improvements, adaptation, redevelopment and preservation;
- Regulatory strategies for encouraging market-rate housing that is diverse and affordable to a broader range of incomes, including nontraditional options such as accessory dwelling units, “missing middle” housing, tiny homes, and mixed-use buildings; and
- Design standards that promote sustainability and energy efficiency, encourage healthy environments and lifestyles and make it possible to travel safely and conveniently using walking, biking, and transit.
SECTION 12. The Partners agree to this Compact as an expression of their intent and
commitment to work together on a countywide level to address the critical need for affordable
housing in Pinellas County, but acknowledge that the governing body of each Partner retains
authority over local decision-making including, but not limited to, financial and staff resources
and land use regulations.
SECTION 13. This Compact shall take effect upon full and proper execution and remain in
place for 10 years, unless earlier terminated by the written mutual agreement of all Partners. Any Partner may individually terminate its participation in the Compact upon 30 days’ written notice to all remaining Partners. The termination by one Partner shall not affect the commitment of the Compact’s remaining Partners.