Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Editorials

Hernando County must seize on opportunity to make roofing affordable

Hernando County is thinking about putting a new roof over the needy. Literally. In a proposal scheduled to come before commissioners Tuesday, the Hernando County Housing Authority wants to provide no-interest loans to low-income homeowners who can't afford new roofs. The plan, similar to the existing down payment assistance and housing rehabilitation programs, would tap money from the State Housing Initiative partnership (SHIP) for financing.

As proposed, it would provide up to $10,000 for new roofs for people in danger of defaulting on their home mortgages because of an inability to obtain adequate insurance coverage without expensive roof repairs.

If it works as projected, the infusion of state money should improve the county's housing stock, provide work opportunities for roofers, and better neighborhoods by keeping people in their own homes.

This one should be a no-brainer, but commissioners in the past have not always valued the benefits of housing-improvement programs. They seem to have little trouble lending a hand when builders and developers seek an impact fee break for future homes, but commissioners sometimes stumble when presented a chance to extend similar consideration for the current housing stock.

In 2009, Commissioner Jeff Stabins couldn't find wide support for a housing rehabilitation program he offered as an alternative to waiving residential impact fees. Last year, Commissioner Wayne Dukes balked at county participation in the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program using federal dollars to get foreclosed houses off the market, repaired and readied for re-sale to moderate and low-income residents.

There should be no such objections to the roofing loans. This program is a chance to help existing Hernando County homeowners squeezed by limited incomes and insurance company demands.

Commissioners should seize this opportunity to help their constituents.

Comments
Editorial: Tax cuts arenít worth harm to Tampa Bay

Editorial: Tax cuts arenít worth harm to Tampa Bay

As congressional negotiators hammer out the details on an enormous, unnecessary tax cut, the potential negative impact on Tampa Bay and Florida is becoming clearer. The harmful consequences stretch far beyond adding more than $1.4 trillion to the fed...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Another voice: Privacy in the internet age

How much information about you is on your cellphone? Likely the most intimate details of your life: photographs, internet searches, text and email conversations with friends and colleagues. And though you might not know it, your phone is constantly c...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Confronted with documentation of sanctioned brutality and sexual abuse in Floridaís juvenile detention centers, the reaction from Gov. Rick Scottís administration was defensive and obtuse. So itís welcome news that Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Editorial: U.S. House sides with NRA over stateís rights on concealed weapons permits

With the horror of the mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music concert and a small Texas church still fresh, the U.S. House finally has taken action on guns. But the bill it passed last week wonít make Americans safer from gun violence. It is an ...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

There is no satisfaction for anyone in the standoff over pay raises between the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers. Most teachers across the nation already are underpaid, but this district simply cannot afford the raises teachers ex...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

With a buildout of $3 billion encompassing entire city blocks, itís obvious that Jeff Vinikís plans will change the look and feel of downtown Tampa. But the Tampa Bay Lightning owner unveiled a broader vision last week that reflects how far the impac...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17
Editorial: Make texting while driving a primary offense

Editorial: Make texting while driving a primary offense

It is dangerous and illegal to text while driving in Florida, and police should be able to pull over and ticket those lawbreakers without witnessing another violation first. House Speaker Richard Corcoran has lent his powerful voice to legislation th...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Editorial: Outsourcing common sense on St. Petersburg Pier naming rights

St. Petersburg officials predict that selling the naming rights to parts of the new Pier could generate $100,000 in annual revenue. But first the city wants to pay a consultant to tell it how and to whom to sell the rights. Why do city officials need...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Another voice: Trumpís risky move

President Donald Trumpís decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israelís capital has a certain amount of common sense on its side. As a practical matter, West Jerusalem has been the seat of Israeli government since 1949, and no conceivable formula for Pa...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Editorial: Tampaís MOSI reinvents itself

Editorial: Tampaís MOSI reinvents itself

A tactical retreat and regrouping seems to be paying off for Hillsborough Countyís Museum of Science and Industry. After paring back its operations, the museum posted a small profit over the past year, enabling the attraction to keep its doors open a...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17