Help on the homes front

Published September 30, 2006

Other builders are trying to make housing more affordable to buyers of average income. Lennar Homes recently launched its Homes for Hometown Heroes program that waives down payment costs for teachers, firefighters, police officers, military personnel and healthcare professionals buying homes in Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando or Polk counties. The offer is valid only on select inventory homes that are sold and closed by Nov. 30.

The Tampa division of US Home has started building affordable homes for those deemed "critical workers" - teachers, police officers, health care technicians and others who are having trouble affording homes for their families in an overpriced housing market.

Their first workforce housing community - the Oaks at Riverview, at Busch Boulevard and Florida Avenue in Tampa - will offer townhomes and single-family homes from the $130- to the $180-thousands. The neighborhood will also provide the amenities of a traditional suburban residential development including a clubhouse, pool, fitness center, computer library with eight computers, and exercise and sports facilities.