Between 2008 to 2010, there was 775 foreclosures in East Tampa, and only 74 new homes built in the area. "That's an epidemic," says Ernest Coney Jr., the Chief Operating Officer for the Corporation to Development Communities of Tampa, Inc. (CDC).
Monday morning in East Tampa, Coney was joined by U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, as well as local and federal officials to announce the launch of the regional Get Home Now program. Part of a national effort, the $15 million local campaign aims to give working families the opportunity to purchase homes through federally insured renovation mortgages.
A press conference was held near the corner of Frierson Avenue and 15th Street in East Tampa, in the backyard of a home that is on its way to become the first renovated property in the public-private partnership. It was juxtaposed against a home next door that is vacant and in desperate need of renovation itself, a contrast that both Congresswoman Castor and Mayor Buckhorn alluded to in their remarks.