Creating Housing Affordability in Pinellas County


Virtual Housing Summit

Pinellas County and Forward Pinellas hosted a series of five webinars from October 9 to December 11, 2020, on how to create, improve and sustain homes that are affordable to our residents.

Penny For Pinellas logo

Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program

A new $80-million fund dedicated to expanding affordable housing in Pinellas County over the next decade is now open to support qualified development and rehabilitation projects. 

The new Penny for Pinellas Affordable Housing Program will use revenue from the voter approved 1-percent sales tax with public and private investment to preserve and develop more affordable housing. The County is looking for a variety of applicants, including developers who specialize in affordable housing and those who traditionally build market-rate developments as well as municipal and nonprofit partners.

Builders and developers with projects in Pinellas County that meet program requirements should apply during an open application period, which are summarized below.

Planned application periods (subject to change)

Round 3 February 1-March 31, 2021

Applications available February 1st with a March 31st submittal deadline.

Round 4 August 2- September 30, 2021

Applications available August 2 with a September 30th submittal deadline.

Review and approval process takes approximately 60 days

Projects will be reviewed by staff following the close of the application period. Selected projects will go to the County Commission for approval. Subsequent application cycles will open as long as funds are available.

Photo of couple walking on the beach at Fort Desoto Park.

Developing homes in Pinellas County

Located on a 280 square-mile peninsula, Pinellas offers a diverse array of cities, towns, and neighborhoods, replete with small and large downtowns, historic main streets, traditional neighborhoods and beach towns. As Florida’s most densely-developed county, successful housing projects aim to redevelop land into new mixed-use, multifamily homes, restore aging single-family houses or find creative ways to reuse existing space.  

Attracted by the mild, sub-tropical climate and miles of white sand beaches, 946,848 people have made Pinellas County their home. With an average 360 days of sunshine each year and beaches ranked among the best in the U.S., the county is also the most popular tourist destination on the Gulf of Mexico, drawing nearly six million tourists annually. As an established county, the significant infrastructure – including schools, utilities and roadways – is already in place. Pinellas is also well connected with regional access provided via Interstate-275, two international airports, and the largest port in Florida. 

Recent Projects 

Pinellas County dedicated 8.3 percent of the Penny for Pinellas sales tax renewed by voters from 2020-2030 to affordable housing land acquisition and economic development capital projects, based on broad public input. The renewed Penny builds on years of progress in expanding housing options in the community.

In the past 10 years, the County has supported development and preservation of more than 2,900 affordable housing units through a combination of local, state and federal partnerships.

Expanding housing that’s affordable has consistently been ranked as a top priority by Pinellas County residents through surveys and other forms of public input.

Photo of Palms of Pinellas exterior
Palms of Pinellas, Largo, a 92-unit mixed-income development that supports working families.
Eagle Ridge, a 71-unit affordable housing development in the heart of Tarpon Springs.
Photo of Garden Trail apartments exterior
Garden Trail Apartments, Clearwater, a 90-unit affordable housing community near downtown.
Palmetto Pointe, a Pinellas Park apartment community offering 82 affordable homes.