What’s the problem?


St Pete has over 800 “boarded-and-vacant” homes, many concentrated in some of the city’s most blighted neighborhoods. Concentrations of these houses depress property values and attract drugs, prostitution, vagrancy and other crime and quality of life issues for neighborhood residents. These houses are also a drain on the finances of the City, which loses tax revenues from these and adjacent properties due to non-payment, lower tax appraisals and deferred maintenance costs. Banks and other financial institutions must pay for ongoing maintenance for these properties when they foreclose and hold these properties; these costs are ultimately passed on to customers and stockholders.

At the same time, the market for housing close to the downtown business core is very tight, creating shortages, especially for startup and growing businesses founders and principals, who are typically on tight budgets. Many of these key personnel live outside the city because of high housing costs, draining valuable talent from the City.