What changes could a local government make to help REI

5 Replies

So I'm interviewing for a position with a local government in the Tampa Bay area in the City Planning Department. The position has a mild focus towards economic development in the downtown area. In some of my research I've noticed the city is trying to direct resources in the downtown housing stock and trying to improve it. They are trying to attract both improvements to neighborhoods in the immediate surrounding neighborhoods and the downtown (both second story residential and the few apartment building around). So my questions to the BP community, what sort of policies or programs could a local government enact to encourage, foster, attract, or generally make things easier for REI's to improve the housing stock in those targetted locations (or even in general city)?

Put together a information pamphlet that tells what investors need to do or direct them clearly where to find information and requirements when you invest in real estate in Tampa.

Simple answer.

Bond financing for economic development allowing low interest loans for renovation, rehab and acquisitions to be renovated. 

Work through your local hosing authority (who is broke like all the others) and develop a low-mod housing program, affiliate support with non-profits as well. Handicap accessibility is usually needed, apartments for clients served by non-profits are usually in demand. This makes for a great community based support system for government activities.

Check into economic development funds at the state level, identify the enterprise zone and request funds that are available, then more funds on a matching basis from your bonds. Identify blighted areas, acquire, develop and tax'em! Blighted areas or buildings can be obtained for the public good, eminent domain may be a tool. 

The banks in the area can pick up the bonds, if your muni is rated A+
or better of their investment portfolio, they can also meet their requirements under the Community Reinvestment Act which they are required to invest in.

Offer tax credits for new businesses establishing themselves in the enterprise zone, real estate taxes, sales taxes, use tax, are all on the table to negotiate with, usually the more employment brought in, the better the tax relief is.

Create a "Mayor's Commission" of public minded civilians, business owners, non-profits, real estate types, engineers, banks and primary industry leaders. "Vision 2030" their task is to determine where they want to see the city in the year 2030. Your city should already have a master plan, that needs to be updated. Involvement by citizens and key persons is what makes muni developments successful.

Providing low interest loans at higher loan to value levels can really make a big difference. What you really rely on is the track record of the borrower.

The city can also partner with banks, participate in the lending, say the city takes 20% of a loan and the bank takes 80% of loan proceeds, the city can underwrite the bank loan. The city can also take over a project and auction it to qualified borrowers, a bank can't.

You'll need to work closely with the Mayor, council, city attorney, the finance dept, building regs, state economic dev. and the state finance dept along with the PHA. 

Those ideas, with some study on your part will probably help you in that application. Good luck :)       

Create a zoning overlay for the area and pass development incentives for it such as: permit fee reduction, waive platting and zoning application fees.

Do an area development plan that makes the area sexy again, brand the area with way finding, use CDBG funds for street repairs (if low-mod), waive tap fees, plant street trees. Create a TIRZ. And so forth... 

Since you are applying for a position at the city, you might research any "hot buttons" that are currently being reviewed and try to get involved in some shape or form, as the other replies here hit most all of the programs that are relevant to your prospective position, may be look at a nearby cities urban plan and run some of their ideas up the flag pole.

Hope we sparked an idea that will help,

Mike garrison

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