Pinellas County housing authority programs.

The Pinellas County housing authority administers several federal government sponsored programs. The non-profit is HUD certified, and there are services for very low income families in the form of section 8 vouchers as well as mortgage counseling for homeowners. There are also services to help prevent evictions, and the agency will assist local families in Pinellas County with buying homes as part of the resources at the Homeownership Resource Center.

The authorities main programs are below. Everything is focused on addressing housing issues in Pinellas County, and there are resources for both tenants and homeowners. Note many programs, such as section 8 HUD vouchers, will often have a very long waiting list.

Receive referrals to Homeless Prevention, which helps eligible, low income tenants facing a one time crisis from being evicted and becoming homeless. There is guidance and maybe financial aid for persons in imminent danger of eviction or foreclosure. Assistance from federal programs such as ESG can include money for rent or energy bills. Other aid is offered too.

  • Short term temporary lodging, such as in a shelter or free motel vouchers for a night or two if all shelters are full.
  • One time funds for a portion of back rent.
  • Free foreclosure counseling can be arranged.
  • Money for security deposits or to help connect utilities.
  • Ongoing case management is arranged by the Resource as well.

Any type of eligibility for homeless prevention is for people on a low income, that have a pay or quit notice, or those faced with a crisis. For example, grants for rent may be focused on women fleeing domestic violence or single moms or parents too. The applicant in Pinellas County must be at risk of homelessness as defined by HUD, such as living in a shelter or unsafe conditions such on the streets.

The Housing Authority can coordinate mortgage assistance as well. This will be for residents facing a foreclosure, or that are struggling to keep up. Various workshops are offered, and applicants can meet with HUD certified counselors to review options such as home loan modifications or mortgage delinquency counseling.




The Homeownership Resource Center is a place to go to get advice and support with buying a home. The center and its staff is dedicated to promoting homeownership activities such as making referrals to HUD approved counseling agencies, they hold budgeting classes, give free information about downpayment/closing cost assistance loans, and more. They also help people that are facing a foreclosure.

Pinellas County housing authority will also process applications for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance program, also commonly known as section 8. This is a resource that assists low and very low-income households as well as the disabled and senior citizens in the county.

As federal funds allow, the HUD program provides a limited amount of financial assistance to enable eligible participants to lease existing rental units, such as apartments or a standard home from private property owners in Pinellas County. The unit needs to be affordable and safe, and also meet guidelines set by HUD as well as the state of Florida.

Section 8 is not free for tenants, and participating tenants will still need to pay approximately 30% of their adjusted income toward their monthly rent expenses, with the balance paid by federal funds and the Housing Authority. There is often a very long waiting list for this, due to the lack of affordable housing in Pinellas County as well as the challenging economy.

The Pinellas County housing authority does not have sufficient funding to assist all applicants, so the non-profit selects applications from its waiting list when federal government funding becomes available from section 8. People will be selected from the waiting list in order based on various conditions.





Tenant Based Rental Assistance Program, or TBRA, also offers subsidized housing and rental rates. This is time limited, and may last for several months or a couple years. Clients will also benefit from other supportive services, and the aid is for homeless persons or other low income persons in need of decent affordable place to live. A focus of aid from Pinellas County housing authority for TBRA is on homeless families.

Permanent Supportive Housing, or Shelter Plus Care, is rent or energy bill assistance for the disabled in Pinellas County. It was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and it will help clients access permanent housing in the county. There may be grants for homeless persons with disabilities and their families, money to pay security deposits, transitional units, and more.

Assisted Living Facilities are for seniors in Pinellas County, and there is an increasing percentage of them. One apartment facility, known as Magnolia Gardens, is managed by the housing authority, and it can provide affordable accommodations and care to the elderly.

Pinellas County housing authority offers case management too, as part of Family Self-Sufficiency. Working with staff from the agency, families and individuals will get help in becoming economically self-sufficient members of the community.

Clients can enroll into workshops such as GED training or educational assessment, vocational assessment, budgeting skills training, job search, and more. In most cases enrolling into Family Self-Sufficiency is required in order to get any financial assistance with rent from local non-profits.




Transitional Housing is when very low income residents of Pinellas County are placed into short term accommodations. Clients may have a place to live while they work towards stability. People will need to pay a small dollar amount each month towards their rent and housing, and they will also need to meet requirements put into place by the housing authority, such as save a portion of their income, budget, and others.

The main office of the Pinellas County housing authority is at 11479 Ulmerton Rd., Largo, Florida 33778. Or call 727-443-7684.


By Jon McNamara

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