As St. Pete’s affordable housing crisis continues to be a focal point of policy and development, a new website is serving as an invaluable tool for both sides of the situation. The St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership launched sphousingdata.org, a website devoted entirely to tracking the needs and the progress of St. Pete’s affordable housing market.
The meticulously thought-out and designed site is a resource for data this is easy to digest, alongside clear cut visualizations of A) what needs to be done, B) what projects have been proposed, and C) what developments are actually in progress. While it shouldn’t be confused with Zillow for affordable housing (you can’t find open apartments or homes here), the goal is to help inform decision-making by area policymakers, developers, advocates, and investors.
The website was developed in partnership with The Downtown Partnership, a private nonprofit organization that aims to put thoughtfulness and community-wide prosperity at the forefront of the city’s growth. Working with Pyper, Inc. and researcher Sarah Lindemuth, the new page breaks down how much affordable housing is needed based on zip code; measures the amount of affordable housing added vs what the city says it needs; and even has an interactive map showing the status of individual developments throughout the city.
Additionally, the website provides a full resource guide of what actions have been taken by the city in regards to affordable housing. This incudes breakdowns of new zoning regulations, bonus structures in place, and much more. There is also a glossary of terms to help make sense of the jargon in so many of the development and zoning descriptions.
“One of the most urgent challenges St. Petersburg faces is a lack of housing availability. Despite record-setting new residential construction, supply has not kept up with demand. The result is a steep increase in the costs of living,” the website says.
“The challenge is compounded by high construction costs, limited land, loss of traditional low-income housing and demographic trends,” it continues. “This website is designed to help policymakers, developers, advocates and investors make smart decisions. There is no silver bullet, but there are hundreds of actions that can all help attack the problem from different angles and perspectives.”
Explore the website and its various uses at sphousingdata.org.