LARGO, Fla. – Hundreds of needy, low-income seniors waiting for affordable housing in Pinellas County may need more patience.

Plans for an 85-unit development are on hold after an application misunderstanding caused the county’s housing authority to lose a $15 million tax credit.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Debbie Johnson, executive director of the Pinellas County Housing Authority. “When you know you answered a question correctly, it’s very frustrating to know you don’t get the award the first time around.”

PCHA had plans to build the 85-unit senior housing development in Largo near its Rainbow Village property.

The housing authority was disqualified from the tax credit over a single question on its application to the Florida Housing Finance Corp. about if there will be existing units in the proposed development. PCHA said no, but decision-makers said PCHA should have mentioned the nearby Rainbow Village property.

“There was not an error in our application. We answered the questions as asked in the application correctly,” Johnson said. “There will be no existing unit in the proposed development as all units in the proposed development will be new construction.”

PCHA said it has filed an appeal.

“We want to do great things in that community and we’re ready,” Johnson said. “We just need the funding and we’re going to go after more. We’re not going to stop until we get there.”

Emerald Morrow is a reporter with 10News WTSP. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You can also email her at