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Habitat for Humanity opens office on the Deuces
BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County cut the ribbon on their new digs located on the Deuces, 1350 22nd St. S, last Friday, March 2.
The organization has recently celebrated their 458th new home in Pinellas County. In 2017 alone, they completed 59 homes, 13 of which were constructed with the Southside Community Redevelopment Area (CRA).
CEO Mike Sutton said Habitat plans to continue investing in the CRA after eight years of little activity on the south side of town, and this new office is a statement of their promise.
“You see, after the crash in 2009, it was very different for Habitat to build homes in south St. Pete due to rising construction costs and the rapidly declining value of property,” he said. “Right, wrong or indifferent, our organization did not stay committed to finding ways to build or repair homes in south St. Petersburg during that time.”
Sutton said they are committed to serving an area of the community desperately in need of affordable, safe and sustainable housing. With community partners, local business, faith communities along with help from the city and the county, he feels that they will increase their impact and the outcome in the CRA.
In 2017, Habitat for Humanity made a commitment to invest $1.5 million in new home construction in the CRA. They exceeded that number by providing more than $2 million in new home construction, serving 48 families with volunteers and providing more than 11,000 hours of labor in the CRA.
“Today, we increase our commitment by opening this office that will serve as a resource center for those who are looking for affordable housing opportunities in south St. Petersburg,” said Habitat’s board member Alfredo Anthony.”
Mayor Rick Kriseman said he couldn’t be prouder of the partnership the city has cultivated with the county and Habitat for Humanity, which will tackle the challenges of affordable housing head-on.
“Looking at where we’re standing today, I think we all recognize two of the biggest challenges that we face are poverty reduction and…affordable housing,” said Mayor Kriseman. “You cannot address an attack on poverty if people don’t have housing, if they don’t have a place they can call their home.”
After the ribbon was cut, the community was invited in to check out the new office and meet the team that will help bring affordable housing to the CRA.