TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa City Council is teaming up with a local organization — The Hive Inclusion Community — to create a living area for people with disabilities to live as independently as possible.
Tonya Whitlock is the founder of Hive and says she created the organization after she had a hard time finding proper housing for her 29-year-old son with cerebral palsy who wanted to live on his own.
Whitlock came up with the idea to try and create a living space where those with disabilities can live and be part of a community. She says that 50% of the units would be meant for those with disabilities and the other half will be geared towards other high-risk populations.
“We believe that Tampa is the space to do this in," she said. "We believe there are plenty of residents who desperately need this space, and we should have it here in Tampa as well.”
Whitlock is now working to find land where a new community can be built. The organization does have renderings of what the community would look like but haven’t finalized them yet. Tampa council member Luis Viera, who represents District 7, said its important to address the needs of those with disabilities.
“This is about independence, this is about dignity, this is about respect," Viera said. "This is a critical issue for our city.”
Whitlock says this project is in the very early stages and nothing is set in stone. The council plan to discuss the future of the project in a meeting set in August.