University Area Community Public Water Access
The University Area Community encompasses approximately 864 acres (ca. 1.35 mi 2 ) west of the University of South Florida, in short, no city has been willing to incorporate this area, making the neighborhood an island in the middle of the Tampa metropolitan area with limited access to social, health, and utility services. Water services in recently constructed public housing has been managed by a private sector, this project will convert the homes to public water utilities through working with Hillsborough County to implement an infrastructure study, develop dialogue with area residents around healthy water supplies and connection to underground aquifer/nearby Hillsborough River.
UACDC recently opened the county’s first privately managed park, Harvest HOPE Park, complete with a flourishing community garden that provides food for weekly cooking classes featuring the many cultures represented in the neighborhood. The park also boosts a naturally spring fed freshwater pond with an observational dock and stocked catfish for the community. The affordable housing units are in this area with financing provided by the UACDC. The investments being made in the community are a step to providing greater access to water and public resources, however it is critical to bring together the local businesses, government and stakeholders to identify how to improve the infrastructure to improve the social determinants of health for residents.
* Project supports urban water use efficiency AND raises public awareness of water issues and/or provides community benefits