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The University of South Florida (USF) is leading the development of a Brownfields Area-Wide Plan for the University Area Community – a one-and-a-half-square mile bounded by E. Fletcher Ave., N. Nebraska Ave., E. Bearss Ave., and Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in Hillsborough County, Florida.
Utilizing a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this project focuses on the University Area Community (UAC), a neighborhood located in unincorporated Hillsborough County on the northern edge of the City of Tampa, Florida. The area is mixed with residential and commercial properties, and contains numerous vacant lots, many of which are perceived by residents and organizations to be contaminated by environmental pollutants.
USF has engaged the community and other key stakeholders to develop a Brownfields Area-Wide Plan along with an implementation strategy for the neighborhood.
Approximately 11,000 residents live in this diverse community. The poverty rate in the target area (58 percent) is more than three times the county rate (18 percent) and almost six times the state rate (10 percent). The unemployment rate is 16 percent. Additionally, there is a higher proportion of residents 25 years and older with no high school education compared to county and state proportions.