New roof repair program launching for East Tampa residents – Tampa Bay Now

EAST TAMPA, Fla. (Tampa Bay Now) – Residents in East Tampa could soon see some home improvements at no cost!

The East Tampa Community Redevelopment Area is starting a program that would allow people to apply for their roofs to be repaired.

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The East Tampa CRA says $1.7 million is available to repair roofs and residents say this kind of help can be life changing.

“I have my daughter, my grandkids and my great grandkids who live here. And we do the best we can, but I would appreciate it if I could get that roof,” said resident, Bessie Murphy.

Murphy has lived in her home in East Tampa for almost 30 years.

“Good gift this to me and this is where I am,” said Murphy.

But recently it’s been having some issues.

“Then it started having a little leak here, little leak there, and then it got to where it had the rain in it, so I had to call someone to come out and patch it,” said Murphy.

After an inspection of the home, her insurance dropped her coverage and she doesn’t have enough money to fix the roof.

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“We’ve been trying to scrap and scrap and when you think you have the money, you have something else to do,” said Murphy.

Like many other families in East Tampa, Gloria Wilson and Willie Clarke are experiencing a similar situation.

“He needs some more shutters in the back, some boards around, they are lifting up on top. It’s not too bad where it’s leaking,” said resident Gloria Wilson.

But the East Tampa Community Redevelopment Area is now providing a new program that will pay for people to get their roofs fixed.

“A portion of the property taxes are reinvested in the community. If we can help them with the roof or something to that effect, then we can keep them in the home, and they won’t necessarily feel like they have to sell,” said Cedric McCray with the East Tampa CRA.

Wednesday night the group is meeting with contractors to decide how the $1.7 million will be divided and applications will open in mid-September.

If Clarke and Murphy can get their roofs fixed, they can retire in the homes they love.

“I think I like that. I’d like something like that,” said Clarke.

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“I’d give them a sweet potato pie, for free!” Murphy said.

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