Local developers, high school friends, answer call to build affordable housing in Tampa

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Three Tampa natives, who have been friends since high school, are answering Mayor Jane Castor’s call for local developers to help address the city’s affordable housing crisis.

With the demand for affordable housing at an all time high, the City of Tampa is looking for ways to to work with private developers committed to the cause.The Pittman Design Group (PDG) was selected for a $3 million grant through the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program to help fund an affordable multi-family complex it will be building in Ybor City.

The 10-unit project will be income-restricted for households at 80% or below the Area Median Income. For instance, for a family of four to qualify, the total household income cannot exceed $69,500.

“We need every unit we can get to increase our affordable housing supply and it brings us even more satisfaction to see the private sector step up to the plate to help us reach our goals,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “The Pittman Design Group is led by Tampa natives who want to help us protect our communities and the people who helped this city become what it is today.”

PDG is owned by Dontavious Pittman, Kevin Johnson, and Ponce McNeal. They met while attending Tampa Bay Technical High School and remained friends ever since.

“Born and raised in Tampa, we love our city and could not imagine living anywhere else,” said Dontavious Pittman. “But not everyone has a choice, and due to the high cost of homes, many locals have had to leave. When I formed this company I knew affordable housing projects would be our way of making an impact in our community.”

The multi-family apartment complex will be located at 2108 E. Columbus Dr. It is currently in the permitting phase and is expected to come online in about 18 months.

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