Harvey Vengroff

Entrepreneur Harvey Vengroff, who became well known in recent years for his efforts to build more affordable housing in Sarasota and Bradenton, died Thursday at age 77. Vengroff owned several local apartment complexes that house thousands of residents; he often purchased motels and converted them into affordable units. He was well known for his colorful, blunt, no-nonsense style, whether speaking with tenants, reporters or local officials, and for his casual attire. His red T-shirt, emblazoned with the phone number of his rental agency, One Stop Housing, was instantly recognizable. Vengroff emphasized taking a hands-on approach to managing affordable housing properties, which included helping tenants find work and providing mobile health care visits, job training and more. Vengroff also founded Vengroff Williams, an international credit and billing collection firm.

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