A housing authority generally is a governmental body that governs some aspect of a region’s housing, often providing low-rent apartments to qualified residents. Established in the 1930’s to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for the working poor, there are now 3,300 housing authorities nationwide authorized under federal, state, and local legislation. Founded in 1937, the St. Petersburg Housing Authority (SPHA) is one of the oldest housing authorities in the nation and is continually rated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a “High Performing” agency.
SPHA’s jurisdictional area includes the City of St. Petersburg and extends in a 10-mile radius outside of the city limits. Click here to download a map of SPHA's jurisdiction (PDF).
SPHA operates three housing programs, Public Housing, Affordable Housing, and Housing Choice Vouchers (commonly known as Section 8). Together, these programs provide quality and sustainable housing opportunities for more than 3,700 low-income families and individuals.
A governing body of seven commissioners develops the policies and goals of the housing authority. Please click here to read about the agency's goals (PDF). This board is made up of volunteers who are appointed by the Mayor of St. Petersburg and confirmed by the City Council. However, the housing authority is not a city department, but is an independent quasi-governmental entity and a political subdivision of the State of Florida, operating under Chapter 421 Florida Statutes.
SPHA’s income is derived from tenant rents, federal subsidies, grants, investments and inter-agency contracts. We do not receive operating income from the State of Florida, Pinellas County, or the City of St. Petersburg.
SPHA is an Equal Opportunity Housing Provider.
SPHA’s Mission and Values
SPHA's staff is committed to high levels of excellence and to providing quality, affordable housing for the residents of the City of St. Petersburg.
It is the mission of the housing authority to provide a variety of safe, sanitary, accessible, decent and affordable housing to eligible citizens of the city of St. Petersburg, while enhancing and promoting resident self-sufficiency.
SPHA has adopted the following core corporate values, which are necessary to carry out its mission and achieve the goals established by the Board of Commissioners.
National Awards and Recognition
Through the years, several of SPHA's programs and initiatives have received recognition as "Best Practices" by the national housing industry. SPHA is known as a leader among housing authorities, commended for our agency performance and our efforts to break new ground for the future of assisted housing.
July – National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials’ (NAHRO) Awards of Merit for 5 of SPHA’s programs: Program to House Youth Aging Out of Foster Care, the Housing Choice Voucher Education Initiative, Father’s Day Event, the Smoking Risks Education Initiative, and the Resident Training Program with Contractor Role.
December - National 2012 Nan McKay and Associates' (NMA) Excellence in Housing Award for SPHA's Demonstration Program to House Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
July - National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials' (NAHRO) Award of Merit in Housing and Community Development for "Collaborations in Developing Fairway Gardens"
July - "Honorable Mention" in the Housing Authority Insurance Group's
2012 Best Practices and Housing Authority Risk Retention Innovation Awards for "Smoking Risks Education Initiative for Public Housing Residents"
July - National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials' (NAHRO) Award of Merit in Housing and Community Development for SPHA's Section 3 Resident Skills Assessment program
September - "First Runner Up" in the Housing Authority Insurance Group's 2011 Best Practices and Housing Authority Risk Retention Innovation Awards for SPHA's Fraud Prevention and Recovery program
August - Florida Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials' (FAHRO) statewide Best Practices award for SPHA's Section 3 Resident Skills Assessment program
November - National 2010 Nan McKay and Associates' (NMA) Excellence in Housing Award for SPHA's Section 3 Resident Skills Assessment program
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Best Practices awards for SPHA's Economies of Scale program, Homeless Veterans voucher program and Training, Research, Audit and Compliance team