Hillsborough County & Tampa to consolidate on Section 8 housing?

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However, Mitchell reports that at least two County Commissioners, Victor Crist and Les Miller, aren't necessarily on board with the idea - not yet anyhow.

Commissioner Les Miller said he was also concerned that there may not be enough time for the transfer to be completed before the fiscal year begins Oct. 1. He asked for more details about how the merger will affect employees and participating families.

"I understand we have to cut a budget," he said. "But the services are more important than just taking people and moving them."

Tampa Housing Authority Director Jerome Ryans does appear to be gung-ho to incorporate the county's portfolio with his agency, telling the Times "it makes good sense."

Commissioners will probably discuss the idea at their budget workshop scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Members of the public who want to have a say on budget can attend a public hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. this evening at the Florida State Fairgrounds, Special Events Center West. That's at 4800 U.S. 301 N. in Tampa. It will also be broadcast on HTV on cable systems throughout the county.

With Hillsborough County's government looking to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from their budget, and the city of Tampa looking to reduce over $30 million, the issue of consolidating some services between the two local governments is a natural place to look for some savings.

Although neither County Administrator Mike Merrill nor Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn have been specific about where that could happen up to now (although recently the mayor told CL that purchasing and minority business development could be possibilities), the St. Pete Times Tia Mitchell is reporting that Merrill would like to transfer the county's Section 8 voucher program to the Tampa Housing Authority.

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