RUSKIN, Fla. — As lack of affordable housing continues to be an issue across the Bay area, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Petersburg is trying to help.
The Diocese just opened a new property in Ruskin that will house people in need — one of several properties across the Bay area they have opened in recent years.
The Las Villas Apartments on U.S. 41 in Ruskin is an old motel that was converted into 13 apartments.
Catholic Charities partnered with Hillsborough County on the project.
What You Need To Know
- The Las Villas Apartments on U.S. 41 in Ruskin is an old motel that was converted into 13 apartments
- Catholic Charities partnered with Hillsborough County on the project
- It’s part of the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s “Courageously Living the Gospel” initiative that started in 2019 to open up to 10 new affordable housing locations across the Bay area
- Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Petersburg
Cass Garcia is one of the new residents. He moved in after years of being homeless or in temporary housing.
While it’s small, he says he has everything he needs. He has a kitchen, bathroom and a bed.
“If it wasn’t for this, I’d probably be walking down the sidewalk. Or going in the woods to find a place to go,” Garcia said.
His rent is based on income, and he also helps out around the property. He says he is grateful he has a new place to call home.
“I cannot complain. This is one of the best places I’ve had in a very long time,” Garcia said.
These new apartments were opened with funding from both Catholic Charities and Hillsborough County. Las Villas was opened with $1.5 million from the county and $500,000 from Catholic Charities, according to a news release.
It’s part of the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s “Courageously Living the Gospel” initiative that was started in 2019 to open up to 10 new affordable housing locations across the area.
Catholic Charities will also be adding a 20-unit apartment building in Tampa called Mercy Oaks in July, which they have also partnered with Hillsborough County on.
For more information, visit the Catholic Charities website here.