Tampa Developer Wins Bid To Build Housing in East Tampa
Vacant lots once owned by the City of Tampa have been awarded to local developers to build affordable housing. A total of 17 affordable homes are being built through Mayor Castor’s infill housing initiative. “Even when it comes to affordable houses, you should still give people quality,” said Developer Darrick Fullwood, who is building three homes.
What You Need To Know
Income eligible home buyers will have to go through an application process with the city. The program assists applicants with requirements such as credit repair and increasing savings to get additional assistance from the City. A total of 17 affordable homes are being built through Mayor Castor’s infill housing initiative
For years, Fullwood has overseen construction projects by his company AAA Restoration and Builders, LLC. For him, this latest project is different. He’s back in the same East Tampa Community where he was born and raised with his nine siblings. He recalls moving from home to home. “We had hardships so, we kind of moved around a lot so, I lived around this whole area.” he added.
His understanding of the hardships low-income families face today prompted his company to apply for a bid with the City of Tampa to build affordable houses on East Emma Street and East 32nd Avenue. “I think the real struggle is even with education behind them, they still don’t feel like they can have home ownership,” said Fullwood. He says the project is about more than just building homes, but creating generational wealth. “Through a program such as this, you can create equity at purchase,” he added.
The program assists applicants with requirements such as credit repair and increasing savings to get additional assistance from the City. After living in Tampa all of his life, Fullwood says he never anticipated how quickly the market would change over the span of two years.
“I was really shocked,” he said. “With the inflation of houses and lots, I was a non-believer for too long, evidently.” According to Zillow, home values in Tampa increased by 31 percent. Zillow reports the inventory of available homes dropped 29.5%.
Fullwood’s company is one of several minority-owned developers that the city-owned lots were distributed to. “Seeing is believing, '' said Fullwood. “Young people, being able to see a Black man like me own a company, is inspirational,” he added. “It is important for residents of the predominantly African American East Tampa community to see minority developers. Oftentimes people who look like me, who struggled and grew up like me, don’t have the opportunity to get exposure.”
Fullwood encourages youth to learn about trades like contracting and building. Fullwood expects the homes to be completed by the fall.