“Zoning is the Answer: Mayoral Candidates Confront St. Pete’s Housing Crisis” is Tuesday, July 27, at 5:30 p.m. at the St. Petersburg College Allstate Center, 3200 34th St. S. The event will be in-person and streamed live.
ST. PETERSBURG – All eight St. Petersburg mayoral candidates will participate in a first-time summit devoted entirely to solving the housing shortage that working families can afford.
“Zoning is the Answer: Mayoral Candidates Confront St. Pete’s Housing Crisis” is Tuesday, July 27, at 5:30 p.m. at the St. Petersburg College Allstate Center, 3200 34th St. S. The event will be in-person and also streamed live. Registration is free.
A consortium of 30 non-profits, associations, and individuals are partners in this event, all of them advocating for changes in the way zoning gets done in St. Petersburg.
They agree that a new zone, NTM-1, should be applied throughout the city. It expands the number of neighborhoods where duplexes, triplexes, and mother-in-law apartments can be built.
The summit partners believe increasing the supply of housing will decrease the prices.
St. Pete’s housing shortage gets worse by the month.
- From 2019 to 2021, our rents increased 15 percent. That puts St. Pete in fourth place out of the top 100 cities with rent increases.
- In the past five years, St. Pete’s housing prices have increased more than 60 percent and are predicted to rise significantly this year.
- Florida’s minimum wage will soon be $10/hour. At that rate, two adults working full-time would earn about $3,300 a month before taxes. Meanwhile, the low-end average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in St. Pete is $1,200. So that family pays 36 percent of their before-tax income on housing alone, not including utilities.
Zoning is the answer. Allowing more residences on lots now zoned for single-family homes is the fastest, easiest first step in addressing our housing shortage.
There are many other ways to confront this crisis, such as creating land trusts, subsidizing down payments, or paying residents to bring their properties up to code. Next Tuesday’s summit, however, will not include those issues. It will focus just on zoning because that does not cost the city or taxpayers any money.
Candidates will receive the questions a few days in advance because the consortium wants the most specific responses possible.