Start an incentive program to encourage police to live in the city

"As mayor, Bob Buckhorn will encourage public safety officers to reside in the city by implementing a residency incentive program. This program will provide police officers incentives such as low-interest loans, or down payment assistance."


Just hasn't happened; no housing perks for police

Candidate Bob Buckhorn promised to encourage the city's police to live in the city by creating a "residency incentive program" that could provide officers with low-interest loans or help making down payments on homes in Tampa.

In 3½ years, Mayor Bob Buckhorn has made no progress on this idea. There are no low-interest loans, no down payment assistance and no other incentives for police officers or firefighters to live in the city. What's more, there has been no movement to create any of those incentives.

"We haven't been able to do that," Buckhorn acknowledged in an interview on Nov. 19, 2014.

We rate this Promise Broken.


Interview with Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Nov. 19, 2014

Agreement between City of Tampa and Tampa Police Benevolent Association, Inc., October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2016, accessed Nov. 11, 2014


First a housing director, then new housing programs

During the campaign, Bob Buckhorn said he wanted to start an incentive program to encourage police to live in Tampa. Specifically, he mentioned idea like low-interest loans or down payment assistance to help officers buy homes inside city limits.

A year later, though, this remains on the mayor's "to do" list. Several intermediate steps need to take place before the plan begins, Buckhorn said.

Specifically, the city's manager of housing and community development remains a vacant position. It's been empty since former manager Sharon West retired on Jan. 4, 2012, according to city officials. A search is underway to fill the job.

Until that happens, it's unlikely any new initiatives on housing incentives for police will move into action. This promise seems some distance from fulfillment, so we rate this promise Stalled.


Interview with Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Feb. 28, 2012

Email interview with Ali Glisson, public affairs director for the city of Tampa, Feb. 28, 2012 and March 6, 2012

Interview with Greg Stout, president of the Tampa Police Benevolent Association, March 6, 2012