Hillsborough County – Recap of County Board of Commissioners Meeting September 8

At the September 8, 2022 meeting of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), the commissioners declared September 15 through October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month. According to the US Census Bureau, Hispanic Americans make up nearly 30% of Hillsborough County’s population. Commissioners recognized the achievements of Hispanic Americans and the contributions that have positively impacted Hillsborough County.

Commissioners have approved the use of $16.2 million of U.S. bailout funds to acquire and rehabilitate Armature Place Apartments, a 96-unit multifamily rental building on Busch Boulevard in Tampa. The apartments will provide affordable housing for low-income residents who earn 80% or less of the area’s median income. The rehabilitation of the units is expected to be completed in March 2024.

Council has approved a funding plan for the Hillsborough County Housing Finance Authority Mortgage Certificate Scheme. The program helps first-time home buyers save money each year they live in their newly purchased home. The program allows homebuyers to claim a tax credit for a portion of the mortgage interest paid each year, up to $2,000 over the life of the loan. This is a Housing Finance Authority bond issue, and no county funds will be used.

Commissioners asked county staff to research options for a possible apprenticeship program targeting ex-offenders aimed at helping them get the training needed to land jobs. Staff will explore a partnership with the City of Tampa and examine ways to strengthen Hillsborough County’s hiring practices related to ex-offenders.

The council asked staff to bring back possible ways for the county to address and enforce indoor mold complaints inside rental properties. The current county code states that the interiors of all buildings must be free of any visible growth of mold or mildew.

Some options to protect tenants include:

• Updated tenant’s bill of rights with mold resources

• Notify Tampa Housing Authority of customer complaints

• Provide violation notices to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development

Commissioners received an update on the sale of delta-8 hemp products in Hillsborough County. Since launching an educational outreach campaign in March, Code Enforcement has visited nearly 200 county businesses that sell Delta-8 products. Staff found that nearly half did not have the proper hemp food license, but only a few had branded or mislabeled products. Delta-8 products were found in packaging resembling popular snacks and candies that might appeal to children. To date, Code Enforcement has not received any resident complaints regarding delta-8 products or retail sales to minors. The department will continue outreach efforts to educate store owners and residents about potential risks and respond quickly to any reported concerns.

The next regular meeting of the BOCC will be at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. You can watch the meeting live on YouTube at Hillsborough County Chain of Meetings.

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Photo Info: Commissioners approved the use of $16.2 million in U.S. bailout funds to acquire and rehabilitate Armature Place Apartments, a 96-unit multifamily rental property on Busch Blvd.

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