TAMPA, Fla. — Shamisea Grier already fought to make her way out of homelessness. Now between rent hikes and ongoing health issues, she’s fighting to keep a roof over her head.
“My rent went up about two or three times this year,” she said. “It was bad for me in the past, so I don’t want to go back there.”
Grier has been hoping to get assistance from local rental relief funding but, as of Friday, the Rental and Move-in Assistance Program in Tampa is no longer an option.
The portal for the program launched in March quickly closed after being overwhelmed by renters in need and then re-opened in October.
Now, the city’s website says the program helped close to 1,000 renters and that, “The program is approaching full allocation of funds and will therefore be closed on Friday, January 13, 2023, until new funds become available.”
The website says $6 million was allocated to the program, but Grier says that’s simply not enough when renters across the city are struggling daily to afford a place to call home.
“If they cared, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” she said. “My rent was 700 something dollars. Now it’s like $1200.”
10 Tampa Bay reached out to the city to ask if the program will re-launch if more funding is made available, and when that might happen.
A city spokesperson sent us a statement saying:
"We will not stop looking for solutions to help make housing accessible and affordable for people in Tampa Bay. Mayor Jane Castor and the entire Development & Economic Opportunity team continue to look for additional revenue streams and funding sources to assist families."