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St. Pete unveils aggressive affordable housing plan

The city’s 10-year plan aims to create and preserve 4,200 multi-family units.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The city of St. Pete just announced an aggressive plan to stave off gentrification and promote affordable housing as development pushes low- to moderate-income families outside the city limits.

“Our plan will provide an increased supply of dwelling units, assist those who want to have homeownership, and help keep families in their existing homes so they don’t get pushed out by rising prices,” said Mayor Rick Kriseman.

The city’s 10-year plan aims to create and preserve 4,200 multi-family units, add hundreds of workforce units, single-family homes and lots, as well as using grants and city funds to help more than 3,000 homeowners with code violations to help them stay in their homes.

"Being a schoolteacher, affordable housing is, majority times, out of our reach,” said Michelle Early, who listened to the mayor speak about the new plan Wednesday morning. “A lot of teachers are living outside of their budget. They're working two and three jobs just to live in Pinellas County."

It’s exactly what Kriseman aims to prevent with this plan set to impact 7,000 households and 19,000 people overall.

The city also wants more partnerships with the private sector to create housing like the Burlington Post Apartments, where rents start just above $600 for those with lower incomes.

"This housing program means there's hope for people like me who are working every day, serving the city. First responders, educators, especially those of us with families,” said Early.

RELATED: Report: Tampa, St. Pete residents need to make $21.79 an hour to pay rent