St. Petersburg expands Rebates for Affordable Residential Rehabs program

St. Petersburg has expanded a program designed to increase accessory dwellings and help homeowners with various home improvement projects.

The city’s Rebates for Affordable Residential Rehabs program is available citywide. The program allows eligible homeowners to apply for funding to make building improvements to their residential properties.

Some of the applicable improvements include structure repairs, roof replacement, HVAC replacement, electric/plumbing upgrades, replacement of windows and doors and kitchen or bath upgrades.

The rebate program also allows for funding to go toward the construction of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on the property. Last August, the city amended its regulations for ADUs, allowing for 47 neighborhoods in the city to qualify now. ADUs are also known as “granny flats” or “mother-in-law suites.”

The council voted 5-1 to amend the regulations and allow more ADUs to be built in the city. Thousands of new parcels now qualify for the structures. ADUs help provide multigenerational housing, which can be rented out and provide more affordable housing throughout the community.

The funding is provided via rebates of up to 40% of the pre-approved construction values. The funds can be used to cover part of the cost of materials and labor. 

To qualify, the property must meet the city’s requirements for the workforce or affordable housing — households whose incomes are at or below 120% of the area median income — and the applicants are required to make a minimum investment of $10,000 per unit. The work has to be completed by licensed contractors and subcontractors.

The rebates will be awarded until the funding is gone and applications are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Initially, the program was only available for residents that lived within the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area. According to the city, “significant funding” was allocated to reach more residents. The initiative supports Mayor Ken Welch’s Pillar for Progress: housing opportunities for all.

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