- Senate President Kathleen Passidomo announced her ‘Live Local’ plan to alleviate the proliferating affordable housing crisis in Florida.
- Passidomo enlisted Sen. Alexis Calatayud to file Senate Bill 102, which provides incentives for private developers to construct affordable housing units.
- The bill also incentivizes the construction of new projects near existing workforce housing units to be built via the restoration and refurbishing of older rental units.
- The legislation is expected to be met with bipartisan support.
Senate President Kathleen Passidomo detailed her vision to remedy the state’s housing issues this week, presenting an outline for a comprehensive workforce housing strategy designed to increase the availability of affordable housing options for workers and residents in Florida.
The legislation, SB 102, was filed by Sen. Alexis Calatayud on Thursday and provides incentives for private developers to create affordable units for low-to-moderate-income workers.
Under the bill, developers will also be incentivized to fund down-payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, military families, and veterans.
Passidomo stated that finding affordable housing close to local jobs is not just a problem for low-income individuals, but for the broader workforce and seniors as well.
The new plan, called “Live Local,” is the result of years of discussions with stakeholders and aims to tackle the issue from all angles, she said.
The bill also includes provisions for counties and municipalities in approving applications for certain housing developments. These provisions include specific requirements and restrictions for local governments to follow when reviewing and approving applications.
“All too often housing is stereotyped as a challenge for those living at the lowest income levels, when in reality, finding attainable housing options close to local jobs is a challenge impacting our broader workforce and also our seniors,” said Passidomo in a press release.
The bill appropriates a total of $252 million to the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program and $259 million, including $150 million in new recurring funds, to the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) program.
The SAIL Program provides low-interest loans on a competitive basis to multifamily affordable housing developers, and the bill directs the additional funds to be used for projects focusing on mixed-use development, urban infill, or developments near military installations in Florida.
The bill also incentivizes the construction of new projects near existing workforce housing units to be built via the restoration and refurbishing of older rental units.
The announcement comes as data from the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at the University of Florida indicates Florida has 825,990 low-income, cost-burdened renters, yet rental availability, particularly the supply of new affordable rental units remains low.
Florida House Speaker Paul Renner praised the plan saying, “Florida workers need safe and affordable housing to provide for their families and get a step closer to realizing their version of the American dream. ‘Live Local’ is a bold vision to tackle home affordability and attainability for hardworking Floridians across our state.”
The legislation is expected to be met with support from lawmakers and stakeholders in the state, as the affordable housing crisis in Florida continues to impact a wide range of residents including working families, seniors, and young adults.
The affordable housing crisis in Florida is a significant issue that has been exacerbated by a combination of factors, including a growing population, rising property values, and a lack of sufficient government funding for affordable housing programs.
As a result, many low-income residents in Florida are struggling to find affordable housing options, and the state has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the country.