On February 2, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a plan that will explore whether a former fire station located at 4503 Coronet Rd. in Plant City can play a role in helping to alleviate the need for affordable housing.
The commissioners entered into a contract with the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa. This is a nonprofit organization that helps revitalize neighborhoods by increasing affordable housing options and employment opportunities.
The Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa will use the former fire station, which is approximately 4229 square feet, to create a prefabricated home construction training program.
Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberly Overman said, “We have a serious shortage of affordable housing in Hillsborough County. This program will help provide training and work toward filling the need for affordable housing.”
Overman added, “It is so awesome that the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa has this opportunity to build this facility. I think it is a nice partnership.”
The unique program will offer career training in a variety of construction-related trades. It will help provide a skilled local workforce to meet the tremendous demand for construction workers in a variety of fields. In addition to teaching valuable job skills, the program will help determine if modular homes can provide cost-effective, affordable housing at a time when prices to buy or rent a home are rapidly rising.
Under the terms of the lease, the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa will have rent-free use of the station building through Friday, September 30. At the end of the eight-month trial period, the organization will provide information to the county on the number of program graduates and homes built.
If the pilot program proves successful, the contract includes an option for two two-year contract extensions with lease payments to the county of about $2,100 a month.
Hillsborough County has made a priority of addressing affordable housing issues, investing more than $54 million into the community in 2021, which directly impacted more than 24,300 households. The programs and services funded by the county focus on creating new affordable housing opportunities, training for residents to further their careers in order to afford home ownership and infrastructure improvements that enhance the communities around them.
For more information, please visit www.cdcoftampa.org or call 813-231-4362.