‘Is this a good time to buy?’ Prospective home buyers seek answers at Tampa housing seminar

People facing Tampa's housing crisis are getting much-needed help. 

The city, along with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, hosted a special homeownership conference at the Tampa Convention Center on Saturday to help interested buyers find solutions amid a devastating housing crisis.

Everyone from lenders and banks to real estate agents and insurance companies were all in one place ready to help. 

"Tampa is growing. We've seen a great deal of success in the last couple of years, but with that success comes issues that we have to address. The most critical at this point is affordable housing," Castor said.

At the moment, costs are sky-high. Right now in Tampa, the average price for a home is about $400,000.

"Lower-income people, middle-income people are being priced out. They just can't buy," Housing and Education Alliance Executive Director Sylvia Alvarez said.

READ Tampa tops nation in housing price increases

Another major issue is the lack of supply. According to the city of Tampa's Housing and Community Development Division, for every one apartment available in Tampa at least 20 people are looking to rent it.

"People ask me all the time, ‘Is this a good time to buy?’ I have to say no, unless you're buying with one of these programs, but it's the best time ever to get yourself ready," Alvarez said.

It's why the city along with Castor brought together dozens of industry professionals at the Tampa Convention Center to help people interested in buying. 

READ Home sellers in hot markets are dropping prices as demand wanes

Representatives from more than 50 different organizations hosted workshops on financing and classes on how to boost your credit and pay down your bills.

It's all to help people make their dream of homeownership possible.

"We are doing everything that we can as a city to ensure that all of our residents get to live not only in the home that they want, but in the neighborhood that they want as well," Castor said.