The Tampa Bay Times spent six months investigating Hillsborough County's Homeless Recovery program, a little-known government initiative launched in 1989 to provide safe havens for the poor. Instead, the Times found, it spent millions of tax dollars housing the homeless in filthy, crime-ridden slums.
In the wake of the housing scandal, the Times asked the seven members of the Hillsborough County Commission to take a position on homelessness. Click on their photos to view their responses and comment on their answers.
TAMPA — Hillsborough County's Homeless Recovery program did not inspect properties where for years it sent homeless people and millions of public dollars, had no policies to respond to complaints that places were filthy and dangerous, and had insufficient controls over how it spent money, a county audit released …
TAMPA — In 2002, local leaders adopted a 10-year plan to end homelessness in Hillsborough County based on the "housing first" philosophy sweeping the nation. In 2005, the city of St. Louis adopted a similar plan.
TAMPA — There is one stark difference between how Tampa Bay's two most populous counties address their homeless problems: Pinellas has a publicly funded homeless shelter. Hillsborough doesn't.
That may change soon.
TAMPA — Months after admitting Hillsborough County spent millions of tax dollars on a program that placed the homeless in slums, County Administrator Mike Merrill will unveil his plan to outsource the service this week.
TAMPA — A six-month code enforcement sweep in North and Central Tampa has resulted in 4,517 inspections and the removal of 80-plus tons of trash.
TAMPA — More than 30 properties that housed clients of Hills-borough County's Homeless Recovery program have failed basic housing inspections by county code enforcement, some with problems so significant and costly to fix that landlords have opted to stop taking the tenants rather than correct them.
TAMPA — Hillsborough County government should close its troubled Homeless Recovery program and seek help from private social service agencies experienced at finding housing for the poor, county staff will tell commissioners today.
TAMPA — The manager of a Hillsborough County homelessness agency resigned a day after the Tampa Bay Times revealed his agency sent clients to live in substandard apartments owned by former Tampa Port Authority chairman William "Hoe" Brown.
TAMPA — In the wake of a slum-housing scandal that brought down the chairman of the Tampa Port Authority and embarrassed City Hall, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is launching an inner-city code enforcement sweep.
TAMPA — William A. "Hoe" Brown resigned Friday from all of his public positions — including the chairmanship of the Tampa Port Authority — after he was outed this week for renting illegal and squalid properties to the poor and disadvantaged.
TAMPA — The dead body decomposed for two weeks inside an 84-square-foot apartment.