Right hand, meet left handAfter all the turmoil in St. Petersburg, it turns out there are 179 vacant apartments at the city's largest public housing complex.
City Council member Jamie Bennett (who is also chairman of the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Network) is pushing a plan to temporarily relocate more than 150 homeless residents into the empty apartments. There's enough room at the 486-unit Graham-Rogall to close the city's scattered tent cities, he says.
He has asked the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which owns the Graham-Rogall, to sign on to the idea. The issue could come before the authority's board this month.
The Housing Authority is considering whether to sell the Graham-Rogall to a private developer, who wants to redevelop the complex into about 300 condominiums.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said they would agree to the temporary housing. But the Housing Authority must first change its procedures to move homeless people to the front of its waiting lists, officials said. Nearly 1,500 people* are waiting for federal subsidized housing in the city.
Read the St. Petersburg Times story here.
* If 1,500 people are waiting for housing, why is the housing authority selling its largest public housing complex? I'm not expecting those redeveloped condos to be affordable housing for poor folks.