HOPE VI Process
Belmont Heights Estates
Prepared for the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of
the City of Tampa
By: Benjamin Stevenson, HOPE VI Coordinator
November 14, 2003
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION 2
Overview of the HOPE VI Project 2
II. THE HOPE VI RELOCATION PROCESS. 3
What is the Relocation Process 3
Where did relocation begin? 4
Did any group receive special consideration? 4
How long did it take? 5
What type of notification was given to the residents? 5
How were the residents informed? 6
HOPE VI Community and Supportive Services Work Plan 6
III. DEMOLITON 7
IV. COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND INVOLVEMENT 8
HOPE VI Revitalization Plan 8
Women and Minority Business Participation 9
Section 3 Employment and Training Opportunities 11
V. NEW CONSTRUCTION 13
Construction of the New Community 13
Phase II 13
Phase I 13
Phase III 13
VI. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND RE-OCCUPANCY 13
HOPE VI Admission and Occupancy Policy 13
Exhibit A Relocation Distribution Map
Exhibit B Sample Relocation Database Spreadsheet
Exhibit C Women/Minority Business Enterprises Performance
Exhibit D Section 3 Employment
This report is written to provide a review of the process involved with the creation of the HOPE
VI development, Belmont Heights Estates. It will give a detailed overview of the relocation
process, outreach and involvement with the local community, Women/Minority Business
Enterprise (W/MBE) outreach and compliance, new construction and re-occupancy of the new
Relocation, demolition, new construction, and re-occupancy of the HOPE VI community are a
part of a long process, taking place over several years. The long process is one of the reasons it
has always been understood that not all former residents of Ponce and CHH would be returning to
the new community. Many residents experience the joy of moving from old dilapidated, non-air
conditioned public housing unit to a new unit with modern amenities such as wall-to-wall
carpeting, central air and heat, microwaves, and dishwashers. Said experience, enhanced by
living in a new area for several years, causes many original residents to lose their desire to return
to the new community. A complete overview of the relocation process and other aspects of the
HOPE VI project is outlined in the following pages.
Overview of the HOPE VI Project
The HOPE VI Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) for the purpose of revitalizing distressed public housing communities. It is a competitive
process open to all public housing authorities (PHAs) nationwide.
Currently, HUD accepts annual applications from PHAs for the comprehensive transformation of
a severely distressed public housing community. Typically, the applications envision the
complete demolition of the existing housing with a replacement program aimed at reducing
density, reducing the neighborhood’s concentration of poverty and the revitalization of the entire
community. The THA HOPE
VI project in East Tampa
certainly fits within this
scenario. Historically, the
target area for the new
development also had some of
the highest rates of drug and
criminal activity, illiteracy,
unemployment, poverty, drug
and alcohol abuse, and single
heads of household (over
90%) in the City and
surrounding region. Based
upon these factors, the 1997
application submitted by the
THA received a $32.5 million
grant award for the
revitalization of College Hill
Homes (CHH) and Ponce de Leon Courts (Ponce), two contiguous public housing communities
isolated in the East Tampa neighborhood.
II. THE HOPE VI RELOCATION PROCESS
Federal guidelines required the development of a HOPE VI Relocation Plan. Said plan outlined
THA’s strategy for relocating the former residents of Ponce and CHH public housing
communities. It also outlined the type of assistance and notification to be provided by THA. The
HUD approved the Relocation Plan in November 1998. The relocation process began
immediately after HUD approval. HUD also approved an amendment to the Relocation Plan in
March 1999. Said amendment allowed THA to provide assistance for persons that resided in the
HOPE VI area at the time of the grant award, but moved prior to approval of the relocation plan
without THA assistance.
Prior to the hiring of the HOPE VI Community and Supportive Service Provider, relocation
assistance was provided by THA staff. THA created a Relocation and CSS division within the
HOPE VI Department. Staff performed the functions such as referrals to family assistance
agencies, substance abuse counseling agencies, and relocation information and assistance. THA
also purchased two (2) vans to assist with the relocation process. The vans were used to transport
HOPE VI residents and/or family members for HOPE VI relocation business purposes such as to
visit homes in neighborhoods where they were considering to move; obtain paperwork necessary
to establish relocation eligibility such as birth certificates and/or social security cards; preview
schools in areas where their children will be relocated; or attend HOPE VI public meetings. This
transportation service was available to elderly and handicapped persons as well as people with
Also, HOPE VI Relocation staff met with each family in their home on a one-on-one basis to
discuss the relocation process. In-home counseling/assessment sessions were used in order to
inform the residents of their rights, options, and available assistance under the guidelines of the
HOPE VI program and the federal Uniform Relocation Act. In-home visits were the best way to
advise residents and insure their making informed decisions about relocation. In-home visits also
provided an opportunity for staff to make accurate assessments of the needs of the individual
resident and their family members. Once an assessment of need was completed, the resident(s)
were referred to an appropriate social service partner for assistance. Additionally, federal
guidelines prohibit “instructing or telling” residents where to go as opposed to advising residents
of available housing units in the area.
Additionally, there was a school of thought that the HOPE VI relocation effort had a negative
impact on Hillsborough County’s ability to provide social services. That is, HOPE VI created in
an increase in the demand for assistance at the County’s neighborhood services centers. A review
of the relocation statistics does not support this theory. Moreover, THA questions the logic
behind the thinking that 1,100 families could cause an increase in the demand on overall county
services when all 1,100 families were previously being serviced by one community center, Lee
Davis Neighborhood Services Center. Moreover, federal regulations mandated THA provide
assistance to these families and hire a private sector social service agency or firm to assist with
this effort (additional information on this process is outlined later in this section). The reality of
the situation is the families were more evenly disbursed throughout Hillsborough County and the
City of Tampa. The attached map, Exhibit A, shows the relocation distribution.
The specific steps taken by THA during the relocation process are outlined below.
What is the Relocation Process?
Interview of Residents
Assessment of Resident’s Needs
Selection of Housing Option
Preview Support Services
Interview of Residents: HOPE VI staff conducted one-on-one interviews with each family
residing in the Ponce and CHH public housing communities. Staff has developed an interview
packet to gather resident information such as name, current address, family size, housing
preference, location preference, type of assistance required, household income, and preference for
returning to the new HOPE VI community.
Assessment of Resident’s Needs: During the interview process an assessment was made of the
needs of each household. Needs include the provision of services such as childcare, healthcare,
job training, job placement, transportation issues, education programs, family services,
counseling programs, homeownership training, and social services assistance programs.
Selection of Housing Options: All residents of Ponce and CHH (as of October 3, 1997 –HOPE VI
grant award date) were given one of the following options: another public housing unit, Section 8,
or homeownership. HOPE VI staff reviewed the list of housing options with each resident head
of household. The family size and number of bedrooms in the existing housing unit also
influenced the type of housing given.
Preview of Properties: HOPE VI staff provided transportation, if requested, for residents to visit
and preview the various housing properties in the area where they desired to relocate.
Preview of Support Services: Transportation was provided for residents with children desiring to
visit schools near their new housing location.
Move: After previewing the housing sites, selection of an acceptable housing unit by the
resident, and proper advance notification by THA, the resident was required to move to the new
Return: After the demolition of the existing Ponce and CHH public housing units and the
completion of construction of the new HOPE VI community, those residents desiring and
designated as “eligible to return” will move back into the HOPE VI area.
Where did relocation begin?
The area of Ponce located at the corner of E. 26th Avenue and N. 22nd Street was targeted as the
starting point for the relocation process or Phase I. HOPE VI staff interviewed the residents in
their homes during a building-by-building process. This process continued until all of the
residents in Ponce and CHH were interviewed.
Did any group receive special consideration?
Those families having children under the age of seven residing within the household and the
elderly were given priority during relocation. The THA attempted to relocate the elderly in large
groups at each approved alternate housing site. Those residents on the existing Section 8 waiting
list were among the first to be offered certificates and/or vouchers for Section 8 rental
opportunities. All relocation efforts were coordinated with the HOPE VI Revitalization Plan.
How long did it take?
It took approximately 14 months to relocate all the residents of Ponce and CHH.
What type of notification was given to the residents?
General Information Notice – HOPE VI Offices
This notice informed residents about the location of the three on-site HOPE VI offices and
listed of contact persons and phone numbers.
General Information Notice – HOPE VI Home Visits
This notice informed residents that HOPE VI staff would begin conducting in home
interviews for purposes of determining a family’s housing preference and support service
This notice cautioned residents not to move without the approval of the Property Manager
Notice of Relocation Eligibility
The residents received a Relocation Eligibility Notice informing them that they are eligible
for relocation assistance. A family or individual may begin to relocate after receiving this
Ninety Day Notice
After residents are offered a comparable Section 8 unit and it passes inspection or a
comparable public housing unit, the resident will receive a Ninety-Day Notice. This notice
requires a family or individual to move within 90 days of receipt of the notice to move.
General Information Notice – Elderly Residents
This notice informed elderly residents that THA would give special consideration for their
needs during the relocation process.
How were the residents informed?
Door-to-Door: HOPE VI staff visited residents in their homes to verify household size, condition
of the existing unit, and bedroom size. Staff also conducted the HOPE VI relocation interview
and answered questions the residents may have had regarding the relocation process.
Public Meetings: HOPE VI staff hosted a series of public meetings at various locations
throughout the HOPE VI project site. The locations included the Audley Evans Youth Center,
CHH Resident Council Building, Ponce FSS Building, and the Lee Davis Neighborhood Services
Center. Residents were also recruited to host meetings in their building. Public rallies were also
held on street corners throughout the HOPE VI project site.
Flyers: Flyers providing information on the relocation process were posted throughout the Ponce
and CHH properties in locations such as Property Managers offices, mailboxes, and resident
council building. The flyers were also distributed to the residents.
Street Corner Rallies: HOPE VI staff set up tables on street corners on the properties of Ponce
and College Hill on the first of each month. Staff distributed information the HOPE VI program,
the relocation process, provides copies of previously distributed information and answers
questions about the HOPE VI program for residents. Other local agencies also participated in the
HOPE VI Staff on the Properties: On the first few days of each month, a member of the HOPE
VI staff was stationed at the property manager’s office to answer any questions residents may
have had about the relocation process.
Weekly HOPE VI Meetings: Every Wednesday and Thursday evening meetings were held in the
Ponce and College Hill Resident Council Buildings, respectively. HOPE VI staff was on hand to
answer questions staff may have regarding the program.
Public Service Announcements: Information on the relocation process and other HOPE VI topics
was broadcast via public service announcements on local radio stations.
Newspapers: Information on relocation and other HOPE VI topics was submitted to the local
print media. Staff also worked with Fox 13 to provide media coverage of the first family to
relocate into homeownership. Fox 13 staff was a member of the HOPE VI Community Task
HOPE VI Community and Supportive Services Work Plan
The HOPE VI guidelines required THA to provide community and supportive services for all
HOPE VI residents for a minimum of three years. Federal regulations also mandated the hiring
of a private sector community/social service specialist to assist with this effort. THA selected
Tampa Hillsborough Urban League (THUL) using a public Request For Proposals process. The
THUL first assignment was to develop a three-year HOPE VI Community and Supportive
Services Work Plan (Work Plan). The Work Plan outlined assistance and services to be provided
to HOPE VI residents and was submitted to HUD for review and approval. The services
provided include, but are not limited to, Household/Family Assessments, Job and Occupational
Skills Training, Childcare, Eviction Assistance, Stipends for Training, Food Assistance, Clothing
Assistance, Parenting Skills Training, GED Preparation, College Assistance Programs, Job
Placement Assistance, Transportation, Home visits, Job Readiness Training, Life Improvement
Plan Development, Counseling for Personal Problems, Landlord/Tenant Housing Intervention
Assistance, Medical Assistance, and Relocation Assistance. Additionally, the THUL formed
partnerships with twelve (12) new agencies to provide childcare services so HOPE VI residents
could pursue employment and education opportunities. HUD approved the Work Plan on
December 8, 2000. THA and/or the THUL have been providing supportive services for over five
years and continue to provide this service for HOPE VI residents. Recently, the THUL’s contract
was extended (with HUD approval) through March 2004.
Federal guidelines also require the THA to keep track of the residents and the assistance provided
for a minimum of three (3) years. THA staff developed a database for said purpose. A sample of
this database is provided in Exhibit B. Statistical information regarding the CSS is also provided
in the monthly Board packet submitted to each THA commissioner.
The case for demolishing the existing structures was simple to make. The 1,300 public housing
units, built between 1941 and 1952, were totally obsolete and practically unfit for habitation.
Specifically, all internal and underground systems were deficient, there was constant flooding and
sewage problems, the streets
were of inadequate size an design
to accommodate modern day
emergency vehicles and school
buses, the streets were also in
need of repair, the units had
foliage growing on the roofs and
were infested with insects and of
a design and condition which
rendered them unable to meet the
standard of today’s housing
codes. That is, the building used
a military barracks type design
with block construction. None of
the units had central heating or
air conditioning. The lack of air
conditioning in a sub-tropic
region in combination with a
high-density rate and intense poverty levels contributed to the high levels of depression for many
families. There were also health hazards such as lead-based paint and asbestos issues associated
with the construction of the units. Even if a comprehensive “gut rehab” were possible, the cost
would have far exceeded that of new construction. HUD approved the demolition of all 1,300
public housing units in January 1998.
IV. COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND INVOLVMENT
HOPE VI Community Task Force
In order to obtain community input and solicit public comment, the THA established a HOPE VI
Community Task Force (formerly known as the HOPE VI Steering Committee). This Task Force
serves in an advisory capacity to the THA and assisted with the development of the HOPE VI
Revitalization Plan and implementation of the objectives of the HOPE VI program. The Task
Force is comprised of representatives of 29 different organizations and agencies, and thereby,
providing representation of a broad cross-section of the local community. The Task Force
includes THA staff; public housing residents from the HOPE VI area and other THA housing
communities; City government; County Government; County Public School System; State
government agencies; local, state, and federal elected officials; media; community development
corporations; non-profit agencies; and social service agencies. The first Task Force meeting was
held on July 9, 1998.
In the beginning, the Task Force met on a monthly basis to assist the THA in reviewing the initial
needs assessment data required by the application. It helped to shape the overall goals and
objectives that were included in the HOPE VI Revitalization Plan and Community and
Supportive Services Work Plan. The following six (6) sub-committees were formed to look at
various aspects of the HOPE VI revitalization effort: Community Partnerships; Relocation;
Community and Supportive Services; Budget and Finance; Design and the Environment; and
Public Safety. The sub-committees were comprised of members of the Task Force and met on a
monthly basis. At least one public housing resident from the HOPE VI community served on
After one year of monthly meetings, sub-committee meeting minutes were compiled and
submitted to the HOPE VI Program Manager in the form of a final report. The HOPE VI
Program Manager used the information contained in the minutes and final reports as
representation of local community input for the HOPE VI Revitalization Plan. The final reports
served as a compilation of the community input in the areas of community partnerships,
community and supportive services, budgeting and finance issues, design and public safety issues
and concerns and were used as the basis for the HOPE VI Revitalization Plan.
Summarily, the Task Force developed some generalizations for the local HOPE VI project that
were consistent with the national objective of the HOPE VI program. The local project sought to
achieve the following goals:
· Reduce density
· Reduce concentration of poverty
· Demolish obsolete public housing
· Rebuild a modern mixed-income community
· Have the new community blend seamlessly with its surrounding neighborhood
· Promote individual responsibility for public housing residents
These goals are being realized through utilization of many of the following strategies:
· Partnering with private-sector developer(s)
· Transferring property from PHA to a new public-private ownership entity
· Designing project to blend with surrounding community
· Drafting new admissions and continued occupancy policies for the new development
· Building quality housing to attract market-rate tenants
· Developing Family Self-Sufficiency and job training programs for public housing residents
· Procuring private management for the new community
Creating a mixed-income community
The Task Force continues to meet on a quarterly basis providing feedback to the THA on the
progress of the general revitalization effort and supportive services being provided for current and
former residents of the public housing communities. All of the meetings are publicly noticed in
advance of the meeting date.
HOPE VI Revitalization Plan
The HOPE VI Revitalization Plan was approved by HUD on March 22, 2000 and required the
new community, Belmont Heights Estates, to consist of 860 mixed-income housing units on a 77-
acre site. Upon completion, 391 of these housing units will be designated as public housing,
including a 76 unit elderly only village in Phase I. The remaining units will be a mixture of
Section 8, tax credit, and market rate housing. Unit design types will be a mixture of duplexes,
quads and townhouses. Some apartment style units will also be available for rent. Each housing
unit will be cable ready with a computer workstation area. While one, two, three, and four
bedroom units will be available for rent, HOPE VI families also have the option of moving into
homeownership. Former residents of Ponce and CHH may rent a public housing, Section 8, tax
credit or market rate housing unit.
The new development is being built in three separate phases and will have interspersed single-
family homes, both for rental and for homeownership. The basic breakdown of the proposed
replacement program is as follows:
Multi-Family Rental 282
Elderly Only Rental 76
Total Units 370
Multi-Family Rental 237
Total Units 248
Multi-Family Rental 229
Total Units 242
Women and Minority Business Participation
The HOPE VI Developer, Michaels Development Company (MDC), held public meetings for the
purpose of outreaching to Women and Minority Business Enterprises (W/MBE) for a period of 10
months. The meetings were held on a monthly basis in the evenings at the THA Board room. All
of the meetings were publicly noticed and advertised in the local newspapers. Moreover, MDC
hired two (2) local African-American firms, Ariel Business Group and Tampa-Hillsborough
Action Plan, to assist with
the outreach effort. The
firms worked with W/MBE
firms to ensure they had the
proper certifications and
registrations to bid on work
at the BHE site. Aerial
Business Group was also
hired by the General
Contractor to assist with
W/MBE outreach in Phase I.
Federal guidelines require 20
percent MBE participation in
all contracts receiving federal
funds. Said guidelines also
apply to the HOPE VI
program. THA added a 35%
requirement to the contract for the HOPE VI developer. In comparison, the City of Tampa
eliminated its W/MBE requirement but it encourages 25% W/MBE participation for construction
contracts and 14% for professional services; Hillsborough County Schools requires 20%
participation, and the Aviation Authority requires 15% minority participation, Florida Department
of Transportation requires 8%, and Hillsborough County Government determines its percentage
on a case-by-case basis. The County’s required participation range can be between 0 to 30
percent with the individual contract goal being set by committee. The local Housing Finance
Authority does not have a W/MBE participation requirement, but it does encourage W/MBE
To date, MDC meet and exceeded their contractual requirement of 35% W/MBE participation. In
fact, with BHE-Phase II, the W/MBE participation was 43% and Phase I, the participation is
42%. Information regarding W/MBE contract awards is outlined in Figures 1-4. Figures 1-3 do
not include contracts awarded to white females. HUD does not consider white females to be a
minority for W/MBE purposes. Specifically, HUD defines an MBE as follows: “a minority-
owned business is an entity that is 51% owned or controlled by one or more of the following
minority group members: Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian
Pacific Americans, Asian Indian Americans and Hasidic Jewish Americans.” Overall for all
phases, using the HUD definition of minority, MDC has awarded 39% of its subcontracts to MBE
firms. Detailed information on the MDC’s W/MBE performance is outlined in Exhibit C.
Information regarding the percent of contracts and total dollar amount awarded to W/MBE firms
is outlined below in Figure 1.
Percentage of Contracts Awarded to Minorities
Contracts Awarded Contract Dollar Amount Percent
All Contracts $29,323,813.93
MBE Firms* $11,512,527.00 39%
W/MBE Firms* $12,345,989.52 42%
*HUD does not consider a white female to be a minority, so they are not counted in the MBE statistics, but
they are included in the W/MBE statistics.
The total contract dollar amount awarded to W/MBE firms by racial composition is outlined in
Figure 2 below.
Percentage of Minority Contracts by Race
Race of Owner Contract Dollar Amount Percent
Black $2,664,635.00 23%
Hispanic $8,455,975.00 74%
American Indian $391,917.00 3%
Total $11,512,527.00 100%
The total contract dollar amount awarded to W/MBE firms by sex is outlined in Figure 3 below.
The percentage of contracts awarded to minority females using the HUD definition for minority is
Percentage of Minority Contracts by Sex
Sex of Owner Contract Dollar Amount Percent
Male $9,151,475.00 79%
Female $2,361,052.00 21%
Female (including white females) $3,194,514.52* 26%*
Total $11,512,527.00 * 100%
*If the contracts awarded to white females are included, the percentage increases to 26% of a total of $12,
The total contract dollar amount awarded to female owned firms is outlined in Figure 4 below.
This figure includes white females, so the total dollar amount of contracts awarded is higher than
the total in Figure 3 above.
Percentage of Women Contracts by Race
Race of Owner Contract Dollar Amount Percent
Black $ 56,735.00 2.4%
Hispanic $1,882,250.00 59%
American Indian $ 391,917.00 12.6%
White $ 833,462.52 26%
Total $3,194,514.52 100%
Also, during the time of the Phase II construction there were several other large construction
projects going on in the area. For example, there were HOPE VI projects in St. Petersburg,
Lakeland, and Bradenton; the expansion project at Tampa International Airport; the new
Middleton High School construction; and the Ybor City development project were all competing
with BHE for the same pool of W/MBE contractors. In spite of these obstacles, MDC met their
Section 3 Employment and Training Opportunities
HOPE VI program objectives also require compliance with Section 3 of the Housing and Urban
Development Act of 1968 (12 U.S.C. 1701u) (section 3). The purpose of this legislation is to
ensure that training, employment, contracting and other economic opportunities generated by
HUD financial assistance are directed to low and very low-income persons. Particularly, persons
who are recipients of government assistance for housing and to business concerns which provide
economic opportunities to low and very low income persons. The employment and training
component of section 3 applies to the prime contractor and all sub-contractors providing
construction services and professional services to the THA.
Figures 5 and 6 below outline MDC’s compliance with the Section 3 requirement while working
on BHE-Phase II. The Section 3 requirement applies to new employees hired once the contractor
and/or sub-contractor began work on the BHE project. Figure 5 shows the percentage of new
hires by race. Specifically, 90% of all newly hired employees were minorities. Specific, details
on Section 3 hiring are included in Exhibit D of this summary.
Percentage of Minority Employment – New Hires*
Race Number Employed Percent
Black 25 25%
Hispanic 65 65%
White** 10 10%
Total 100 100%
*Source of information is Clark Realty Builders, general contractor for Belmont Heights Estates.
**White employees are not a minority, but are included here only for purposes of showing the total number
of newly hired employees.
Figure 6 below shows the percentage of Section 3 persons among the newly hired employees.
Percentage of Section 3 Employment and Training Opportunities – New Hires*
Race Number Employed Percent (Sec3)** Percent (All)***
Black 19 54.2% 19%
Hispanic 15 42.9% 15%
White 1 2.9% 1%
Total 35 100% 35%
*Source of information is Clark Realty Builders, general contractor for Belmont Heights Estates.
**Percent of newly hired Section 3 employees.
***Percent of all newly hired employees.
The figures above show MDC meet its contractual obligations for Section 3 employment and
training opportunities. In fact, one Section 3 employee hired through the Tool Kit Program (an
employment and training partnership program between THA and Hillsborough County) received
several promotions and now serves as the Assistant Project Superintendent for Phase I.
It should also be noted that the HOPE VI Program Manager and HOPE VI Community and
Supportive Service Provider have 100% minority employment with the BHE project. Also, THA
hired 5 new Section 3 employees as a part of the HOPE VI staff to assist with relocation and
demolition. All five employees became permanent employees at THA in other departments and
are still employed nearly two years later. Those numbers are not included in the tables above.
V. NEW CONSTRUCTION
Construction of the New Community
The HOPE VI Developer began construction activity in the Phase II area of the Belmont Heights Estates
community in August 2001. A total of 201 multi-family units were constructed using a 4% bond financing
obtained through the Hillsborough County Housing Finance Authority and the State of Florida Housing
Finance Corporation (FHFC). An additional 36 multi-family rental housing units and 11 homeownership
units will be constructed within the boundaries of Phase II using the financing for Phase III and conventional
bank mortgage financing, respectively. Phase II is the area located south of E. Lake Avenue and north of E.
26th Avenue. Construction closeout was completed for the 201 units in February 2003 and re-occupancy
began immediately thereafter. Currently, Phase II is 98.5% occupied.
MDC also received an award of nine percent (9%) low-income housing tax credits from the
FHFC for the development of the Belmont Heights Estates - Phase I. The Phase I development
will consist of 370 housing units, including a 76-unit elderly only village community, and 12
homeownership units. Additionally, two (2) community centers (with one focusing
Duplex unit at the Elderly Village
on providing services for the elderly) will also be built in this phase. Phase I has an 18-month
construction schedule. To date, construction of the housing units is approximately 95% complete.
Construction of the Elderly Village and surrounding multifamily units along N. 22nd Street and E.
26th Avenue has been completed. Occupancy has begun in this area.
In October 2003, MDC was awarded 9% low income tax credits for Phase III. Phase III is the
area located north of E. Lake Avenue. This phase has a 14-month construction schedule.
Construction activity is scheduled to begin in mid-2004.
The 36 homeownership units available for sale will be 3 and 4-bedroom, single family detached
homes. Among these units, there will be 24 three-bedroom 1,447 square foot homes, and 12 four-
bedroom 1,562 square foot homes. Computer work station areas and cable ready outlets will be
standard in the housing unit design. Garages will also be an option for the new homeowners.
The sales price range for the units will be $90,000 to $115,000. Up to 25% of the sells price will
be available in down payment and subsidy assistance to assist low-income people with becoming
first time homeowners.
VI. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND RE-OCCUPANCY
HOPE VI Admission and Occupancy Policy
The HOPE VI Admission and Occupancy Policy (AOP) for Belmont Heights Estates was
developed with the assistance of the HOPE VI residents. Public meetings were held on a weekly
basis, for example, Wednesday nights in Ponce and Thursday nights in CHH, to solicit input form
the residents. After demolition, these meetings were held in the THA Boardroom. The residents
made requests and suggestions such as senior only housing and housing keeping requirement.
Senior citizens were not happy living next door to the young disabled residents that sometimes
played loud music. Several residents expressed a desire for the housekeeping requirement
because they were interested in cleanliness and maintaining the new community.
The AOP also included some new requirements for employment and self-sufficiency. Said new
requirements are not based on HOPE VI requirements, but, instead on HUD requirements
mandated by Welfare Reform. That is, a person between the ages of 18 and 62 must have a job,
be in a job training program, a full-time student, or enrolled in some type of self-sufficiency
program such as WAGES, Family Self-Sufficiency, or being assisted by Tampa-Hillsborough
Urban League. Said new requirements are not unique to the HOPE VI program. In fact, they
apply to any new applicant at any public housing community in the U.S. whether it is BHE, RPV,
NBH or St. Petersburg, Naples, or anywhere else in the State of Florida, Georgia or Hawaii. The
exceptions are the elderly and handicapped.
Once the AOP was written, it was made available for review and comment by the all public
housing residents and the general public for a period of 45 days. Copies were available at each of
the THA public housing communities and the administrative offices. Copies for also provided for
any one that submitted a request. At the end of 45-day review period, THA held a public hearing
to solicit comments on the AOP. Finally, the AOP was submitted to HUD for review and
approval. HUD approved the AOP on January 4, 2002.
Relocation assistance is provided by THA for all former residents of Ponce and CHH approved to
move back to the new community. Said assistance includes a moving company to assist with the
move; payment of security deposits for rent and gas, application fees; and transfer fees for
telephone, cable, electricity. Also, THA worked out an agreement whereby Time Warner agreed
to waive the cable service transfer fee for all former HOPE VI residents returning to the new
The Tampa Hillsborough Urban League continues to work with HOPE VI families as they
relocate into the new community. Assistance is provided with landlord/tenant disputes, locating
alternate housing, obtaining financial assistance for payment of non-HOPE VI eligible expenses
such as over due electric or phone bills, transportation to medical and healthcare facilities, credit
counseling, understanding the appeal or grievance process, and housekeeping training.
Currently, approximately one in four persons moving into BHE is a HOPE VI eligible resident
returning to the new community. That is, the person previously lived in Ponce or CHH at the
time of HOPE VI grant award and received relocation assistance from THA. The new occupants
also include non-HOPE VI persons that grew up and/or resided in Ponce, CHH or the surrounding
neighborhood. To date, sixty-four (64) original HOPE VI residents have returned to the new
community including nineteen (19) elderly persons. THA fully expects these numbers to increase
as more future construction is completed. Also, there have been some former HOPE VI residents
that successfully completed the process for admission, but declined to return to the new
Information regarding the average income and tenant rent is outlined below in Figure 7.
Type of Unit Average Household Income Average Rent
Public Housing $15,910 $269*
Section 8 $10,766 $101*
Tax Credit $17,681 $446*
MR-Tax Credit** $22,610 $644*
Market Rate $33,378 $673
*Portion of rent paid by the tenant
**50-59 percent of area median income
Information regarding the racial mix of the new community is outlined below in Figure 8.
Race of Head of Household Percent
Information regarding the sex of the head of household is outlined below in Figure 9.
Sex of Head of Household Percent
An Appeals Panel has also been formed to review applications denied for admission into a public
housing unit. Applicants that do not reside within a THA public housing community and are
denied admission to BHE have the right to an informal review. The informal review is standard
THA policy for persons denied admission to a pubic housing unit. All former residents of Ponce
and CHH denied admission are entitled to a review of the circumstances of their case. Said
review is provided by the Appeals Panel.
It has always been understood that not all former residents of Ponce and CHH would be returning
to the new community. Relocation, demolition, new construction, and re-occupancy of the HOPE
VI community has been a five year process. Many residents received new homes in new
neighborhoods and made new friends and have become so comfortable in their new location that
they do not desire to return to their old neighborhood.
A greater tragedy regarding HOPE VI relocation and re-occupancy would be if the public housing
units at BHE were remaining vacant. There is such a great housing need in this area for very low
and low-income people that the public housing units are the first to go and BHE maintains a
waiting list of over 1,000 people. HOPE VI has provided an opportunity for all persons desiring
to return to the new community to return, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.
By providing single-family homeownership housing and market quality rental housing at
affordable rates for low-income people, the BHE is addressing a significant need for housing in
an area with a very high occupancy rate. The new community will transform and revitalize the
entire East Tampa neighborhood, attracting working class families and creating new economic
opportunities. It also creates a seamless community that mixes quality affordable housing with