Florida Home Partnership has helped thousands of families achieve the American dream of home ownership and we can help you too! If you’re looking for an affordable home you’ve come to the right place.
*Income levels and application requirements are subject to change without notice. Contact Florida Home Partnership for the most updated information.
What started off as a temporary job while completing my schooling, ended up being my passion. “I enjoy helping others buy their first affordable home.”
Mrs. Alvarado joined FHP in 2005. Mrs. Alvarado started with FHP as a Loan Specialist and assisted families who apply for the USDA Self-help Homeownership Program. In pre-qualifying families, she helped them by making a financial assessment and addressing any credit repairing. Mrs. Alvarado would process mortgage loan applications for USDA-RD and conventional loans; she would also process down payment assistance for state and local programs, on behalf of our self-help clients. Mrs. Alvarado also assisted with the closing scheduling and attended closings at the title company.
Mrs. Alvarado graduated with her bachelor’s in science of business management in 2008 and completed her graduate certificate in Business Administration in 2011.
In 2017, Mrs. Alvarado was promoted to Loan Manager and since then, she has been leading and overseen the Loan Department. Mrs. Alvarado now has over 18 years of housing experience with the USDA Self-Help Program, spec homes, conventional loan mortgages, local and State down payment assistance underwriting and approval, developing procedures for new programs, tracking production schedules, coordinating title closing, and meeting funder’s requirements and funding deadlines. Teresa is a certified 502 USDA Loan Packager.
Prior to working for FHP, she worked two years with Catholic Charities, a nonprofit organization; and Sanwa Growers as an office assistant. Mrs. Alvarado brough years of office experience and customer services skills, and is an asset to our bilingual customers, English and Spanish. Mrs. Alvarado came to FHP as a homebuyer through the Self-help Homeownership Program, while been a full time employee, full time student, and single person at that time. It was a long process but it was worth it. After, I completed the construction of my home; I felt like “I could do anything”.
Community Association Manager – CAM 28387
Vanessa Josey joined Florida Home Partnership in 2003, bringing to the organization over ten years of experience in administration, marketing, and business development. Vanessa is a visionary leader with a passion for affordable housing; she currently serves on the FHP Executive Team as their Chief Operating Officer.
Vanessa manages daily business operations at FHP while working closely with each department head to ensure that company resources are allocated effectively and all processes are streamlined to support the company’s continued growth. Additionally, she is responsible for overseeing all advertising & marketing on the web, social media, and in print and has extensive experience navigating a variety of strategies, businesses, and policies.
Vanessa serves on several community-based boards and is a State of Florida Licensed Community Association Manager and Realtor.
Dan Blood joined the Board in 2018. Dan completed a career spanning 34 years as a housing planner, community development administrator and appointed official in Hillsborough County, Florida. Today Dan manages some small personal investment projects in securities and real estate. Dan also judges BBQ contests as a Master Judge for the Kansas City Barbeque Association. Dan’s career credentials include an AICP certification, American Institute of Certified Planners, APA; certified Project Management Professional, Project Management Institute; Certified Economic Development Administrator, EDA; and Certified Housing Administrator, Family and Elderly Housing, HUD.
Ms. Hazel Jackson is a professional health care worker and self-help homeowner in the Summerview Oaks Subdivision. Ms. Jackson was past president of the Wimauma Community Development Corporation, formally the Wimauma Citizen’s Improvement League. She is a founding member of Homes for Hillsborough, now known as Florida Homes Partnership. She has served on the FHP Board since 1995.
Martine Dorvil is the founder and president of Service4Impact L.L.C., a consulting firm. Her company helps organizations involved in transforming lives and communities make social impacts. Her team of consultants/collaborators supports organizations/communities to pursue novel applications and business principles. Coupled with a passion for outcome measurements and viable solutions, Service4Impact successfully assists organizations in positively impacting and sustaining the demographic they serve. The company has obtained millions in funding streams for its clients.
Martine has over 20 years of experience in nonprofits. In 2002, she was recruited by the now-retired Senator Victor Crist as Director of Outreach and Engagement to assist the nonprofit he established. She was explicitly tasked to strengthen the newly established organization’s relationship with the community, social, educational, faith-based, businesses, government, and law enforcement agencies. She was successful in forging partnerships and collaborating with over 200 agencies. In 2013, as Director of Programs, with U.A.C.D.C., Martine continued to develop initiatives and programs, positioning the nonprofit as a successful leader in designing, creating, implementing, and evaluating programs. As a result, she earned the reputation of being a strategic, tactical, innovative, and results-driven leader focused on achieving exceptional results.
Before this, Martine spearheaded President Clinton’s federally funded program administered through the Hillsborough County School District, totaling 21 million dollars. She implemented and oversaw the day-to-day operations of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st C.C.L.C.) in seven public schools. She developed programs, budgets, marketing plans, and research criteria. Her program was selected by the U.S. Department of Education research-appointed firm Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. for their study on successful 21st C.C.L.C. Afterschool Programs. Her program received praise from President Bill Clinton’s 21st C.C.L.C. Evaluation Team.
Throughout her career, Martine received many leadership awards and accolades. She co-authors several publications on community-based participatory research (C.B.P.R.) and integrated knowledge translation (IKT). She has certifications in Inclusion & Ethical Leadership (D.E.I.); Nonprofit Leadership & Management; Nonprofit Board Development; Nonprofit Financial Management; Nonprofit Philanthropy; Nonprofit Grant Writing, and Volunteer Management.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Tampa.
Work philosophy: “I am not built for academic writing. Action is my domain.” Mahatma Gandhi
Mr. Cliff has extensive experience in the field of horticulture having spent eight years in interior landscaping as a service manager, nursery manager, training officer and installations manager. Paul then served a further four years in site management with a commercial Landscaping and landscape-maintenance company as a manager and junior partner. After coming to the United States from South Africa in 1993, he gained further invaluable knowledge and experience working for eight years as a supervisor at a Florida turf-grass farm. In 2002 he joined Richard Bailey Professional Forester, Inc. and in 2007 he qualified as a Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. He is conversant with all aspects of the practice of a consulting arborist. In 2015 he started Green Leader Consulting, LLC providing both private and commercial arboricultural consultation services. A Self-Help Homeowner, Mr. Cliff joined the FHP Board in 2011.
Eric Isenbergh has been involved in the residential building/development industry his entire career. Over the last 45 years, he has been involved in more than 40 developments in South, West and Central Florida, marketing, developing and building over 3700 homes. In just over 5 years after moving to the Tampa Bay region, Mr. Isenbergh developed and built over 1700 townhomes and condominiums, which generated over $230 million in revenue, and his company was ranked #14 and #11 in the Builder Top 25 as reported by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. His current projects include 55+ active adult communities in the Tampa Bay area.
He is a Florida State Certified General Contractor, Past Vice Chairman of the Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Advisory Board (serving four terms), Past President and Life Director of the Tampa Bay Builders Association, Past VP and Life Director of the Builders Association of South Florida, Past Area VP and Life Director of the Florida Homebuilders Association and Past Director of the National Association of Homebuilders.
In addition, Mr. Isenbergh and his companies have received numerous awards including the 1994 Builder of the Year for the Builders Association of South Florida, 2004 Builder of the Year for the Tampa Bay Builders Association, Eagle Awards from the Florida Homebuilders Association and Tampa Bay Builders Association, several Florida Achievement in Marketing Excellence awards, Parade of Homes awards, Best of South awards and Florida’s Aurora Award. He joined the FHP Board in November of 2014.
Vernon Fuller is a retired USDA Rural Development employee, with 40 years of service. He worked most of those years providing the agencies services to the Central Florida region, which included Hillsborough County. Vernon was the agency representative to whom Dorothy Duke initially contacted to seek grant funding to help establish then Homes for Hillsborough. He provided oversight for the grants that ensued up until his retirement from USDA in 2014. Since that time he has been serving on two other non-profit housing related boards, Homes In Partnership, a self-help housing grantee in Lake County and Florida Non-profit Housing, which provides housing related technical assistance to self-help grantees and the farmworker community.
Mary Bernardino joined FHP in 2000 bringing with her over 16 years of banking experience. She had known the founder of Florida Home Partnership, Dorothy Duke, personally and began her journey with FHP as the Executive Director’s Administrative Assistant. In 2003 Mary moved into the Sales Department as their first Loan Specialist since the organization was founded. In 2016 Mary was promoted into the Finance Department as their Loan Closer coordinating all of FHP’s loan closings. She enjoys the flexibility of both internal and external relationships with every entity and continues her participation in company’s events, presentations, and trainings, helping as well as learning the growth of homeownership in today’s market.
Sara Adams joined Florida Home Partnership in 2011 bringing with her extensive customer service and clerical experience. Sara takes great pride in assisting clients through the process of applying for a home through USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Homeownership Program and various state and local down payment assistance programs. Sara is a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor and a USDA 502 Loan Packager.
Michael (Mike) Morina attended the College of William and Mary, where he earned a B.A. in Economics. He also earned a Master’s Degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in City Planning. Mr. Morina began his professional career as a research analyst for the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.
After spending 12 years in commercial real estate development, he founded the Alliance for Affordable Housing, a 501 c (3) corporation that developed master-planned subdivisions, built new homes, and processed first time homebuyer loans throughout the greater Tampa Bay area to include the Counties of Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee and Sarasota.
Mr. Morina brings over 35 years of experience in all facets of affordable housing and was hired as the executive director of FHP on April 2, 2018.
Julia Sarmiento-Cohen is currently the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Supervisor in the Division of Innovation in Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS). HCPS is the eighth largest school district in the nation serving over 200,000 students. Julia earned her bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature in 2005, and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership in 2015, from the University of South Florida. In 2006, Julia began her teaching career in HCPS as a high school English and Television Productions teacher and has worked in the district as a Student Success Coach, Coordinator and now as a supervisor. Julia has worked with several community partners to implement education initiatives district wide. She believes that “educating the whole child and teaching the necessary social and emotional learning skills in schools is critical to student success.”
Julia has received several awards for her leadership and dedication to education in the community such as: The Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Award from Hillsborough County Public Schools, the OLE´ (Outstanding Latina/o in Education) Award from, The University of South Florida, The Dorothy Duke Outstanding Community Service Award Recipient, from Florida Home Partnership and the District Leader of the Year award from the Hillsborough Association for School Administrators (HASA). Julia was raised in Wimauma, FL, is married with 2 children and continues to advocate for education in her community. She joined the FHP Board in 2006.
Mr. Pablo LaTorre is a former member of the United States Army and a current Deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO). He has been with the HCSO since 2004. Mr. LaTorre became a self-help homeowner at Bayou Pass Village in 2005. As the first resident of Bayou Pass Village, Mr. LaTorre has actively served on the Bayou Pass Homeowners Association Board for over 10 years. He has held various offices while on the board including secretary, treasurer and vice president. He was elected to the Florida Home Partnership Board of Directors in June 2014.
Mr. David Goldstein has worked for the Pasco County Attorney’s Office since 1998. In that same year, he joined the FHP Board of Director. He is the Chief Assistant County Attorney and has handled land use and development. Since 1996, Mr. Goldstein has served FHP as Pro Bono Counsel, and prior to serving on the FHP Board, he was an attorney for Annis and Mitchell for six years specializing in land use.
Ms. Gleason is the senior staff assistant at Hillsborough Community College (HCC), SouthShore Campus. Active in various community organizations, she was voted onto the FHP Board of Directors November 2016.
Mr. James (Jim) Mathias attended Kaiserslautern American High School where he specialized in math. A graduate from the University of Maryland’s Graduate School – Kaiserslautern, Germany, Jim earned a degree in general studies.
He has worked in the construction, maintenance and home repair industries for over 15 years. In addition to collaborating with and managing contractors and subcontractors, Jim is proficient in painting, carpentry, cabinetry, wood framing, landscaping, electrical, plumbing, and other building-related skill-sets.
His most recent employer was with the Summerfield Master Community Association. Among his many duties, Jim was responsible for conducting routine inspections of multiple landscaped communities and equipment, performing preventative maintenance, making basic repairs and verifying blueprints.
Jim was hired by Florida Home Partnership on September 10, 2018 as the Construction Coordinator. In this position, he guides families during the construction phase of the Self-Help Homeownership Program and will work in other FHP affordable home building initiatives.
Mrs. Garner joined Florida Home Partnership on March 11, 2015. She performs detailed financial and grant management activities. She has twenty years of accounting experience and she has an Associate’s degree in Accounting from Las Vegas College in Nevada. Mrs. Garner also has eight years in non-profit accounting experience working for HELP of Southern Nevada, which is a social service agency that focuses on Housing, Emergency Services, Life Skills and Prevention.
Mr. Anthony (Tony) Mills joined FHP November 2012. A self-help homeowner, his work experiences in customer service and communication skills made him an ideal employee to educate and help potential clients become home owners through the self-help homeownership program. As the assistant for the Self-help Housing Sales and Construction Departments, Mr. Mills manages the Sunset Hills model and community at Sunset Hills in Dade City, FL.
With a number of certifications in business and the food industry, Mr. Mills was a manager for a service station for three years where he hired and supervised a staff of eight clerks and managed daily operations for facilities, inventory and customer satisfaction. He also worked in management for the food and hotel industries for Sodexo, Wendy’s and the Hampton Inn. Prior to coming to FHP, Mr. Mills had started a business called T-N-D Handyman Services.
Mr. Mills received certificates of completion for courses in business, food and beverage services, attended St. Leo University where he received a certificate of completion in computer procedures, and graduated from Pasco Comprehensive High School in 1983.
Ms. Bishop joined FHP in 2006 bringing five years of construction accounting/bookkeeping experience. Ms. Bishop provides back-up support for both the Finance Manager and Construction Supervisor which includes the processing of invoices for payment (coding, matching to purchase orders & attaining proper approvals), process check runs for subcontractors, data entry, research vendor correspondence, preparing budget comparisons/reports, processing construction draw requests and preparing bank deposits.
With over 25 years of employment with local government in housing, budget and finance, Mr. Snyder brings a wealth of experience to FHP since joining in 2005. Mr. Snyder provides professional financial management specializing in the provision of Self-Help Rural Housing programs in coordinating the financial development and operational resources for subdivision development and grant program tracking and compliance. Mr. Snyder oversees and directs finance staff in the accounts payable and grant disbursement procedures while maintaining and managing all General Ledger, Chart of Accounts as well as preparing the balance sheet and financial reports of FHP ensuring the integrity of all financial data and adherence to GAAP accounting principles.
Mr. Snyder came to FHP after utilizing his experience as a consultant for a year after leaving the City of Tampa, Housing and Community Development (“HCD”). While at HCD, Mr. Snyder acted as the Assistant Manager from 1999-2004 and the Chief Underwriting Supervisor from 1994-1999. During his time with HCD, Mr. Snyder assisted with management of CDBG, HOME, SHIP, ESG and HOPWA grant processing exercising considerable initiative and independent judgment in developing policies, overseeing program implementation, coordination of staff assignments and instruction in program procedures. Mr. Snyder was responsible for the development of the Division’s annual budget and financial administration of a $12 million affordable housing and community redevelopment grant program.
Since 1995, Mr. Snyder has served in the capacities of Treasurer and Recording Secretary for the Lake Magdalene Estates West Special Dependent Tax District which is a subdivision taxing district operated under the authority of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. In addition, Mr. Snyder is presently serving a three-year term on the Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Advisory Board as a representative of a non-profit affordable housing developer. The Affordable Housing Advisory Board advises and makes recommendations on issues affecting housing development, and to assist the County in developing new programs and policies in order to foster the development and preservation of attainable and affordable housing. The Advisory Board of 20 members represents various interests from the real estate, local government, housing, and development sectors.
Mr. Don Shea has been a member of the FHP Board since 2005 and has worked in the public sector of Affordable Housing Programs in the Tampa Bay Area for the past 38 years in executive management positions with the City of Tampa from 1972-1979, Consulting from 1979-1991 and Hillsborough County from 1991-2004. In 2004, Mr. Shea joined the North Tampa Housing Development Corporation as the Director of Contract Administration for the State of Florida Performance Based Contract Administration for all the Project Based Section 8 properties in the State. In addition, he is the Director of Business Operations for Related Entities of the Tampa Housing Authority. Mr. Shea has served as the Director of Federal Programs in Hillsborough County, including oversight of all funding from CDBG, HOME, SHIP and Section 8. Mr. Shea has served as the Executive Director of the Hillsborough County Housing Finance Authority and before joining NTHDC was the affordable housing policy and planning advisor for the office of the Hillsborough County Administrator. Mr. Shea is also recognized as an expert in the fields of land use, zoning, community redevelopment and housing regulatory standards.
Ms. Sandy Council worked with Dorothy Duke to acquire the vacant land for Homes for Hillsborough’s (now FHP) first subdivision, Homes for Ruskin. A graduate of Florida Southern College (1966) with a degree in education, Ms. Council taught first grade at Ruskin Elementary until 1972 and retired from teaching by 1976. An astute business woman, Ms. Council launched several businesses to include the New Horizon Group, Inc., Sun City Center Homes and co-founder of the Ruskin Redneck Trading Company. Having served various leadership roles throughout Ruskin area, Ms. Council is the president of the Ruskin Community Development Foundation. She joined the FHP Board in 2011.
Mr. Tom Ludwig worked 31 years for the IRS. A graduate from Eastern Illinois University in accounting, Tom held a variety of positions to include the Excise Tax National Fuel Policy Manager and Chief of the Bank Secrecy Act in Small Business Self-employed Division. He had responsibility for the Bank Secrecy Act laws in the 50 states and U.S. territories. Mr. Ludwig has worked extensively with various federal agencies, Congressional leaders and staff. Now retired from the federal government, his extensive knowledge on taxes and federal regulations will benefit FHP with its financial management and audits. Mr. Ludwig currently lives in the Brandon area. Tom joined the FHP Board in 2011.
Mr. Ortega joined FHP staff in 2004. He along with his wife and 2 sons built their home through the USDA Self-Help Homeownership Program in 2003. Mr. Ortega is a U.S Army Veteran (Specialist E-4). With his 11 years of military experience, he has gained a deep understanding of the importance of teamwork and integrity. He utilizes these and other skills learned from the military as he provides technical assistance and supervision to the homebuyers including purchasing/receiving building materials and supplies for the homebuyers.
Ms. Dickinson joined the FHP staff in 2008 after she, as a single mother, and her 2 young daughters built their home through the USDA Self-Help Homeownership Program. Ms. Dickinson is a U.S Army Veteran (Private First Class) , and utilizes her military training of teamwork, dedication, determination and discipline to assist with construction management and providing technical assistance and supervision to new homebuyers. A Certified Storm Water Management Inspector (2015), Ms. Dickinson is also involved with scheduling, purchasing and receiving building materials and supplies for distribution to vendors and homebuyers. In 2014, Yvette and her two daughters were featured in Rural Voices, a national magazine published by the Housing Assistance Council (a Washington, D.C. based organization that’s committed to providing funding for affordable housing in rural communities).
Mrs. Duarte joined FHP in 2006 bringing with her seven years of clerical experience. Mrs. Duarte assists the Home Loan Manager and Loan Specialist II with home sales and homebuyer counseling goals by interviewing, pre-qualifying credit counseling applicants for the self-help affordable housing program. Mrs. Duarte also prepares closing documents for the various state and local down payment assistance programs. She also assist in managing the model home center for Bayou Pass Village IV. Mrs. Duarte came to FHP as a homebuyer through the self-help housing program.