The Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa (CDC of Tampa) helps revitalize and develop single family homes in and around Hillsborough County, Florida. To help them expand their work, they requested a $1 million revolving line of credit from NeighborWorks Capital to both build new homes and acquire and rehabilitate existing single-family homes, generally valued at $150,000-$200,000.
Their recent Dansville development, five newly constructed 1,400-square foot homes in a cul-de-sac setting. Pinellas County requested proposals to develop vacant land near a middle school. CDC of Tampa was awarded five lots. They broke ground in May and completed the project earlier than expected, with a ribbon cutting by the end of September. All five homes have sold, and many of the new owners have moved in.
“Having the line of credit helps us get real estate development done in our area. These funds make a big difference to us. We are thankful for NeighborWorks Capital for making it possible for us to provide affordable homes,” said Felecia Gilmore-Long, Executive Assistant at CDC of Tampa speaking on behalf of CEO Ernest Coney. “The line of credit will allow us to build and/or rehab five homes at a time.”
CDC of Tampa’s mission is to keep its community growing and to create opportunities for its residents. They work with partners and municipalities to help restore vacant and abandoned properties to reduce and protect neighborhoods from blight. Its single-family homes sell to families with low- and moderate- incomes of $59,200-$74,100 (100-120% AMI.) The people and families they help work in a variety of roles, as bank tellers, teachers, entrepreneurs, healthcare assistants, and more.
CDC of Tampa uses a combination of strategies such as preserving affordable homes to prevent gentrification and increasing home stock and values to combat disinvestment. CDC of Tampa focuses on opportunities in the City of Tampa, and works in the surrounding area (including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Polk counties). Combined, these four counties’ population has increased by 7.3% since 2010, and median household income has increased by 6.2% in that time.
“The demand for affordable housing as revitalization is critical in Tampa Bay. Less than five percent of building permits are for affordable housing, yet 60 percent of the population lives paycheck-to-paycheck. Having affordable housing is critical in our community,” Gilmore-Long said.
Their restoration projects help increase functionality, upgrade systems like heating and cooling, roofs, and improve cosmetics like painting and landscaping. The key features they include, particularly in new construction, include granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and high-impact windows.
Executives at CDC of Tampa first met NeighborWorks Capital at a NeighborWorks America convening, then NeighborWorks Capital visited in Tampa. They discussed how difficult it was to obtain lines of credit to build single family homes.
CDC of Tampa was recently recognized by the Hillsborough Planning Commission for its outstanding contribution to the community, through a public/private partnership to develop in East Tampa that delivered 89 homes in less than two years. They were also awarded the Urban Lift Award by Wells Fargo bank for its single-family rehabilitation work in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.
“Surprisingly, we’ve adapted very well. It’s changed a lot about the way we do business. We’ve remained productive. We’ve transformed to working from home, virtual team meetings, virtual partner meetings and virtual training and meetings with our clients. The pandemic wasn’t what we’d planned for 2020, but we have made adjustments in our business to adjust to our new circumstances,” Gilmore-Long said.
This includes successfully hosting their annual fundraiser virtually.
“We’ve flourished in that we’ve been able to adapt. In some instances, we are doing services differently, but we are still able to help people suffering during this time,” Gilmore-Long said.
While it’s taken longer to get some approvals and permits, and rehabilitation projects have stalled a little bit because of that, real estate development has continued despite the onset of the pandemic.
“While the construction industry may have stumbled in the beginning, the industry is rebounding and we’re still putting people in homes. We’re continuing to create opportunities for people to build prosperous futures and vibrant communities,” Gilmore-Long said.
ABOUT CDC OF TAMPA
CDC of Tampa was formed in 1992 to combat the effects of disinvestment in East Tampa, through real estate stabilization and employment assistance programs Over it history, CDCT has structured itself around three lines of business – Real Estate Development (primarily single family construction and rehab, and homeownership counseling); a Career Resource Center, providing classroom-based skills training and job placement assistance; and Youth Leadership, a range of programs to increase civic and cultural engagement by children and teens in East Tampa.