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Here are housing resources that could help if you’re struggling in Tampa Bay

There are a number of organizations that provide financial and legal services to help keep people housed.
Affordable housing activists rally in support of rent stabilization outside of Tampa City Hall on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022 in Tampa, Fla.
Affordable housing activists rally in support of rent stabilization outside of Tampa City Hall on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022 in Tampa, Fla. [ ARIELLE BADER | Special to the Times ]
Published May 2|Updated May 3

Florida is getting national attention for its housing market explosion and lack of affordability.

A recent report from Realtor.com found that the Tampa Bay metro area had one of the largest year-over-year rent increases in the country from February 2021 to February 2022. The region also had one of the highest percentages of people spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

As advocacy groups call for rent stabilization and local governments vow to designate funds to build more affordable housing, longtime residents face eviction.

Related: Florida renters scramble for shelter as affordable housing erodes

Below is a list of resources to turn to if you are or someone you know are at risk of losing your housing. The services offered range from legal counsel to rental assistance, and food and healthcare providers.

Representatives from the agencies said it is important to get in touch as early as possible if you fear falling behind on rent or need assistance.

Hillsborough County Resources

***** Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative

About: A searchable database of services ranging from food programs and emergency shelters, to employment assistance and health services.

Website: https://unity.myresourcedirectory.com/

Phone: 813-223-6115

***** Hillsborough County Community Resource Centers

About: Five centers located across Hillsborough County that provide guidance and resources to community members, including assistance with housing.

Website: https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/social-services/financial-assistance/find-a-community-resource-center

Phone: (813) 272-5220

***** Hillsborough County Emergency Rental Assistance Program

About: Provides approved households with assistance for rent and electric bills.

Website: https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/public-safety/covid-19-financial-assistance/r3-program

Phone: (866) 375-9114

***** Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Services

About: Assists low-income families with affordable housing opportunities.

Website: https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/government/departments/affordable-housing

Phone: (813)246-3150

***** Bay Area Legal Services

About: Provides free legal services and online tenant tip sheets to residents people in the Tampa Bay region who need help with housing law.

Website: https://bals.org/help/housing

Phone: 800-625-2257

***** Gulfcoast Legal Services

About: Offers legal assistance to low-income residents in the greater Tampa Bay area.

Website: https://gulfcoastlegal.org/housing-stability-assistance

Phone: 727-821-0726

Pinellas County Resources

***** Homeless Leadership Alliance of Pinellas

About: Strives to prevent homelessness in Pinellas County through a county-wide crisis response system.

Website: https://www.pinellashomeless.org/resources

Phone: 727-582-7916 OR call 2-1-1 for the homeless helpline.

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***** Pinellas County Emergency Assistance Programs

About: A list of resources kept by the county, including emergency rent relief programs.

Website: https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/where-to-get-help/

Phone: 727-464-3000 OR call 2-1-1 for the homeless helpline.

***** Pinellas County Housing Authority

About: Provides Housing to qualifying individuals and families, but long wait lists apply.

Website: https://www.pinellashousing.com/

Phone: 727-443-7684

***** Pinellas County Resources for Renters

About: A tip sheet to inform renters about legal rights.

Website: https://rent.pinellas.gov/

***** Pinellas Community Law Program

About: Provides free legal services to Pinellas County residents, including landlord-tenant legal counsel, and an eviction diversion program.

Website: https://lawprogram.org/

Phone: 727-582-7480

***** Bay Area Legal Services

About: Provides free legal services and online tenant tip sheets to residents people in the Tampa Bay region who need help with housing law.

Website: https://bals.org/help/housing

Phone: 800-625-2257

***** Gulfcoast Legal Services

About: Offers legal assistance to low-income residents in the greater Tampa Bay area.

Website: https://gulfcoastlegal.org/housing-stability-assistance

Phone: 727-821-0726

***** St. Petersburg Tenants Union

About: A politically active tenants rights organization based in St. Petersburg that mobilizes for rent control and advocates for people struggling to afford housing.

Website: https://www.stpetersburgtenantsunion.org/

Contact Email: SPTenantsUnion@gmail.com

Related: 10 voices from the front lines of Tampa Bay’s housing boom

Pasco County Resources

***** Pasco Homeless Coalition

About: More than 40 organizations working together to provide help to people facing homelessness or at risk of facing homelessness.

Website: https://www.pascohomelesscoalition.org/

Phone: 727-842-8605

***** Pasco County Rental Assistance Program

About: Provides assistance to renters with funds distributed by the U.S. Treasury to Pasco County.

Website: https://www.pascocountyfl.net/4385/Pasco-HEART-20

Phone: 727-834-3447

***** Pasco County Housing Authority

About: Assists low-income families with affordable housing opportunities.

Website: https://pascocountyhousing.org/

Phone: (352) 567-0848

***** Bay Area Legal Services

About: Provides free legal services and online tenant tip sheets to residents people in the Tampa Bay region who need help with housing law.

Website: https://bals.org/help/housing

Phone: 800-625-2257

Additional Services:

***** 211 Tampa Bay Cares

About: Assistance with food, health care and housing resources across Tampa Bay.

Website: https://211tampabay.org/

Phone: 727-210-4211 OR Call 2-1-1

***** Feeding Tampa Bay

About: A food pantry network serving 10 counties around Tampa Bay.

Website: https://feedingtampabay.org/ways-we-serve

Phone: 813-254-1190

***** Catholic Charities

About: Assists people, regardless of faith, who are struggling with poverty through local service chapters.

Website: https://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/our-vision-and-ministry/

Phone: 703-549-1390

***** Florida Housing Finance Corporation Housing Search

About: A free, state resource for renters and property managers in Florida to help find housing that fits individual needs and income levels.

Website: https://floridahousingsearch.org/

Phone: 877-428-8844

***** Our Florida

About: Florida’s federally-funded emergency rental assistance relief program.

Website: https://www.ourflorida.com/

Phone: 833-493-0594

Know an organization that could help but is missing from our list? Submit a recommendation through the form below.

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