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Recent polling published by the Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign indicates 76% of voters are likely to vote for a candidate that has a detailed plan for making housing more affordable. We hope that you will take this opportunity to review the questionnaires.


2020 Pasco Board of County Commission

Candidate Questionnaire

 

Name: Brandi Geoit

Candidate for Office: Pasco County Commission, District 5

 

District Issues
How would you characterize the housing needs in your district, for both renters and for homeowners?

We are in need of affordable housing. We have a lot of private companies buying up the homes on the market before families can buy them. They then turn them into rentals and the companies do not maintain the properties yet charge a lot of money for the rentals making it more and more difficult on the families here in Pasco. We need to build affordable housing units and maintain them to the actual HUD standards but we also need to make sure that the Federal Government makes good on those grants and that the vouchers can be used

 

Affordable Homeownership
According to the most recent data from Zillow the median price of homes currently listed in Pasco County is $237,745 while the median price of homes that sold was $209,500. Opportunities for affordable homeownership still present challenges for many working families. What will you do to expand access to affordable homeownership for working families?

We have one program here that will help with a mortgage assistance but that needs to be expanded and the home options need to be expanded as well. I know that HUD has a program to help turn individuals on section 8 into homeowners the barrier is that it then opens a voucher that does not meet what the rents are. Our elected officials need to fix this because it is hurting the people here. We need to not just build the 200,000 dollar homes here that does not meet what the wages here are.

 

Availability of Affordable Housing
According to the University of Florida Shimberg Center for Housing Studies, within our regional MSA which encompasses both Pinellas and Pasco counties there are only 53 available affordable housing units for every 100 households under 60% AMI. What investments or policy would you champion to address the growing gap between what citizens can afford and housing costs?

I would work with the groups that build affordable housing and do it well. I would make sure that we start making sure that families that live here can afford to live here and work here. I would start having us invest in affordable housing not like the gables at gulfview square, those units are over priced for the area.

 

Racial Disparities in Homeownership
In Pasco County there is a 20.4% gap between White (72.0%)/ African American (51.6%) homeownership rates which is better than both the State gap of 24.% and national gap of 28%, however still leaves work to be done. How will you continue this progress to reduce the racial homeownership disparities in households of color?

I will make sure to work with groups like the AAC of Pasco County and the NAACP of Pasco County to set up meetings for people that want to buy homes and make sure that we work with them and break down the barriers that they might have. I will reach out to the groups like the Farmworkers program in Dade City to work with our Hispanic population as well. The color of ones skin should not be a barrier to home ownership.

 

Funding
We cannot meet our growing housing needs without additional resources. What do you believe can be done to provide additional resources for affordable housing and how will you work towards meeting those goals?

We used to have a CDBG program to purchase the foreclosures and fix them and turn them over to the non profits for transitional housing. We stopped doing this and i have no idea why. This program helped to provide transitional housing to our homeless and ELI population to be a bridge for them while they waited on a section 8 voucher or an opening in a long term rental program. We need to fund more of this. We need to build at least 3 affordable housing apartment complexes to start with. We need to fund the CDBG

 

Land
The availability of affordable land and developable land, especially around transit corridors or job centers in Pasco County continues to remain a challenge. What role can local government(s) play to help mitigate raising land costs?

As we know land costs are going to continue to increase. We see this in certain areas. The first thing we need to do is to make sure that we have in our plan affordable housing. We need to make sure that we have these units available for our entire population. We have areas on the westside that could be redeveloped into units and this would put people close to public transportation but we tend to not invest in the westside. I know we already provide programs for first time homebuyers and developers why not for affordable housing

 

Specific to Housing
Any additional information pertaining to affordable housing you would like the voters to know?

We have no homeless shelter here in Pasco County. We need to start getting one opened at the same time we build apartment units that can be used as transitional housing. It is time for us to make sure that the people of Pasco county are brought in out of the elements. I will continue to push our congressmen and women to fix the issues we have with the section 8 vouchers not covering rent. I believe that we need to invest in the people of Pasco county.

 


 

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