Geoffrey Black and officials at the celebration where he received keys to a new home thanks to Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Services and Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay.

Two area families whose homes were demolished and then replaced received keys to their new houses on March 26.

The families lived in homes that had been damaged or had deteriorated over the years to the point it was more cost-effective to knock the homes down and start over rather than attempt to repair the damage.

The new three-bedroom, two-bath homes were built by Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, a nonprofit whose mission includes providing affordable housing for low-income residents. Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Services provided a total of $700,000 in State Housing Initiative Partnerships funding for the projects. Both homes, about 2 miles apart, are in Plant City.

The recent celebration and open house included the presentation of house keys to one of the recipients, Geoffrey Black, a retired veteran. This was the first time Black was able to see the interior of his new home on Rayburn Road in Plant City. Black believes his former home sustained a lot of its damage during a storm, likely Hurricane Irma.

“I’m elated. I’m thankful. It’s my birthday next month, and I can’t wait to move into my legacy home. I look forward to giving my son his forever home,” said Black.

County Commissioner Gwen Myers was in attendance and during remarks at the event stated, “Now you have a state-of-the-art house.”

Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay’s mission is “repairing homes, revitalizing communities, rebuilding lives.” The organization provides home repairs, housing, education, and other forms of assistance free of cost, bringing their homes to not just a habitable state but one that is safe and healthy and that they and their families can thrive in.

“We’re very excited to help families stay in their homes,” said José García, executive director of Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay.

The programs and services funded by Hillsborough County focus on creating new affordable housing opportunities, training for residents to further their careers and afford home ownership, and infrastructure improvements that enhance the communities around them.

For more information about Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, visit

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