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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Curran questions move for change at Jamestown

ST. PETERSBURG -- The only public housing that the city manages, Jamestown Townhomes and Apartments, has a proven track record that speaks for itself, says Council member Leslie Curran.

That's why she's concerned about what the city is planning for the 76 unit complex about a mile northeast of Tropicana Field. In Sunday's St. Petersburg Times, it was reported the city was considering shifting the management of the complex to a private company. Since it was developed in 1976, the low-to-middle income housing complex has been managed by city staff.

"We didn't build this to compete with the free market," Curran said. "This complex hasn't cost us money. It is doing what we intended it to do, which is provide affordable, quality housing. I think the mayor (Bill Foster) wants this to be a money maker. I don't think it should be looked at that way."

Curran, who chairs the city's Housing Services Committee, said she will bring up Jamestown's future at the next meeting. She said she's concerned that the complex, which was once overseen by the city's Housing and Community Development Department, was shifted in April to be under Downtown Enterprise Facilities, a sure sign that it's now intended to make profits for the city, she said.

"I'd like to see it under housing," Curran said. "The core mission of housing, to address the ongoing needs of affordable housing. I'm not at all in favor of giving it to private management."

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2011 1:59pm]


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