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While asking about affordable housing, this is a two pronged question. First, the housing issue- Prices are going up across the city due to demand increases. The demolition of older structures and new construction boom is displacing more and more of our citizenry while increasing pricing. To combat this, we need to focus on RENOVATION instead of DEMOLITION. A property can always be renovated for cheaper than new construction. It also helps to preserve the historic integrity of a neighborhood- each home is a living time capsule. The City of St. Petersburg demolishes dozens of homes each year for code violations, then sells the vacant land to developers for a fraction of the cost of clearing the lots. I want to see these homes instead given to a non profit, or qualifying income families, to allow them to have a home of their own to renovate and live in, provided certain renovation benchmarks are met. It would also save the taxpayers money. Second- the recruiting of new employees. Especially in the building trade, there is a large shortage of skilled workers. We need to provide more job skills training to allow the people of our district and city achieve high paying, in demand jobs with practical education.

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Paid for and Approved by Robert Blackmon for St. Petersburg City Council, District 6
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