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Welcome to the Pinellas County Housing Authority

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First Residents Return to Landings at Cross Bayou in Time for Thanksgiving

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Just in time for Thanksgiving, residents have started returning to Pinellas County Housing Authority’s (PCHA) newly renovated Landings at Cross Bayou in St. Petersburg. As the holiday season approaches, the families to return to the new community are settling into brand new, energy efficient, affordable housing units. Ms. Pamela Quince, a returning resident said, “The relocation process was great, I did not have any problems. I was able to come back to a new place, and I just love it!”

 

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Completely renovated inside and out with sustainable, modern improvements, the former French Villas public housing community will be home to approximately 350 residents when construction is complete by spring 2015. 

Late last year, the property was converted from public housing to a new HUD program, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), which allows housing authorities nationwide new opportunities to reinvest in their properties. Built in 1970, the old French Villas property was plagued with severe issues stemming from an aged and obsolete infrastructure that had reached the end of its useful life. Every unit on site needed to be gutted and remodeled, from the inside out. Residents living on the property were provided relocation rental assistance and relocated during the renovation process.

 

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The interior design of the new units at Landings at Cross Bayou incorporates state-of-the-art, energy saving improvements such as Energy Star Certified appliances and ceiling fans in every unit, programmable thermostats, outdoor lighting with daylight sensors, and Energy Star Certified cool-roofs on each building. Additionally, every unit will be equipped with new cabinetry and countertops in the kitchens and bathroom, as well as beautiful ceramic tiled floors.  Each individual unit will be wired and for high-speed internet as well.   The new community will also feature a covered, outdoor picnic area with permanent picnic tables and a grill to use, as well as a basketball court to play on.  The new Youth Center Building will house a library, a new computer lab with internet access for residents, though as well.

 

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Ms. Quashell Davis echoed Quince’s feeling on the process of relocation, and upon seeing the finished Landings remarked, “I love the features!” Residents like Quince and Davis will now enjoy many of the same amenities expected of any newly-constructed apartment complex.

As PCHA continues its commitment to the residents of Landings, a youth based athletic program to engage and support children in the community is already in the planning stages. The end of March 2015 will see all residents moved into their new homes; just in time for the community ribbon-cutting. Landings at Cross Bayou no longer suffers from inadequate, outdated plumbing, and unsanitary conditions, but instead is a modern icon of the improving quality of public and affordable housing.

ROSS Residents at Lakeside Terrace Get New Computer Lab Thanks to PCHA

Thanks to the Pinellas County Housing Authority (PCHA), participants of the Resident Opportunity Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) program at Lakeside Terrace now have access to a brand new community computer lab, located in the shared community center between Lakeside Terrace and Crystal Lakes Manor.

The lab features six computer stations with high-speed internet access and free printing. Each computer will take advantage of Microsoft OneDrive, a cloud-storage based service that allows residents to edit, share, and save Microsoft Office files on a personal account, without the need for a USB thumb-drive or disc. Using OneDrive makes saved files accessible on any device with an internet connection. Three floor-to-ceiling bookcases will host a rotating variety of books made available through partnership with the Clearwater Public Library System. For those visually-impaired and wishing to enlarge books or photos, a state-of-the-art video magnifier has been generously donated to the community by the Lakeside Terrace and Crystal Lakes Manor Resident Associations.

 

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Books from the Clearwater Library and a video magnifier make leisurely reading convenient.

 

The computer lab may be used for school, work, and employment-related activities. Job openings and links to job-hunting websites like Indeed.com and SnagAJob.com will be posted in the lab for residents to take advantage of as well. Additional workshops and skill-building classes will be offered in the future to help residents learn résumé-writing techniques and basic computer and internet search skills, while trained volunteers are available to assist daily. The computer lab is currently open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, but will close each day between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm. Additional hours may become available in the future as lab usage increases. On Friday, October 10th, there was an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to help welcome the residents. 


Through the ROSS program, residents are provided with additional valuable resources to help them reach a stable life of self-sufficiency and independence. To find out more about the program, please contact our ROSS coordinator at (727) 216-6746.

 

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The computer lab at Lakeside Terrace offers ROSS residents free internet, printing, and a small library.

 

 

PCHA Receives Family Self-Sufficiency Grant from HUD


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On Monday, September 29th, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that $75 million would be awarded through the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to selected public housing agencies across the nation.

Of these funds, the state of Florida as a whole received over $3.3 million. The Pinellas County Housing Authority was awarded $132,425, the fifth largest grant out of thirty-five awarded in the state.

This money will continue to fund and develop programs that link residents with local community organizations that provide training and skill workshops for employment. Through the FSS program, residents aim to become gainfully employed and more financially stable and independent. Over the course of a five-year contract, participants are expected to remain employed while an escrow account accumulates funds based on progress and earned income. After successfully completing the five-year contract, residents can then use that money to repay debt, pay for education, or buy a home.

Recent studies conducted by HUD have proven the effectiveness of FSS programs and the increased financial stability of residents who complete the five-year contract.

Congress consolidated funding for the public housing FSS with the Housing Choice Voucher FSS (HCV FSS) program in 2014, allowing funds to be distributed more effectively across both. HUD Secretary Julián Castro said, “These grants will link people to the computer access, financial literacy, job training, childcare and other tools they need to compete and succeed in the workplace. Every American deserves access to the skills and resources necessary to become self-sufficient" (HUD.gov).

Pinellas County Housing Authority shares more on Pinellas Heights . . .

If you missed the Pinellas Heights grand opening, we invite you to view our

Slideshare presentation by clicking here and view the video on our YouTube page!

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