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Hillsborough Set To Give New Apartments To Homeless Millions In The County

The authority of Hillsborough provides shelters to millions who became homeless and kept on the federal stay on evictions after the pandemic outbreak.

The county officials are in a hurry to provide for the homeless and struggling families as the time period of their federal stay is about to run out.

Hillsborough Set To Give New Apartments To Homeless Millions In The County

The outbreak of the pandemic put affordable housing across the U.S including Hillsborough in crisis long before.

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Apparently, many people struggled to meet their daily needs as their monthly paychecks were paused forever. As they spend more than half of their monthly earnings to pay for rent, the increase in the cost of living also put them into turmoil. 

A federal moratorium let the renters have more time but their monthly rent checks didn’t stop heaping up. This made millions to drown in debt nationwide.

Hillsborough’s affordable housing director, Cheryl Howell said that the staff is racing to stabilize homeless people.

Among those, many are included for the first time, before the 1st of February, when the federal moratorium on evictions gets run out.

 Howell said on Monday to the county’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board that the initial rapid rehousing project under the 10-point pandemic response plan is complete.

The project will provide new houses for 20 families in Hillsborough, who struggle with lack of money and time. The project will meet the needs of the homeless after taking measures step-by-step.

Associating with the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s Catholic Charities over for the last three months, the County staff managed to change a derelict roadside motel in Ruskin into the Mercy Oak Apartments with affordable income housing set aside for the families who lost their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. They have been living at 80 percent of the area median income or below.

Howell said that the project induces hope in many who face evictions as well as provides case management and rental assistance for a year. Currently, the country is ready to provide for those who face convictions or debt with housing projects in low and moderate-income. 

According to Howell, the project got approved last November by the county commissioners. The total Coronavirus Relief Fund of the County is $257 million, and among this, $1.25 million was spent on the project.

To get the facility finished, another $2.4 million was taken from the Affordable Housing Fund of the county. The county staff expects that new residents are to be welcomed in the apartments by this month.

Hovell added that apart from the plan of providing apartments to the homeless, the county also decided on an Eviction Forgiveness Program and a Landlord eviction Alternative program.

Additionally, more than 800 writs of professions have been issued by landlords within the County from August with various loopholes.

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