Florida’s Affordable Housing Law
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The Live Local Act is Florida’s response to the housing crisis affordable legislation, designed to provide developers with substantial tax breaks and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. On March 29th, the Governor signed this Act into law which is to take effect on July 1.
What does the Live Local Act do?
The Act includes $259 million for low interest loan for developers, $252 million for local governments for housing, and $100 million for the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program which makes homeownership affordable for eligible frontline community workers such as police officers, firefighters, health care professionals, childcare employees, and active military or veterans.
Affordable apartments in Lakeland courtesy Miami Herald
The Act prevents the authority of local governments to impose rent control measures, allows for multifamily or mixed-use residential housing in any area zoned for residential or commercial or industrial as long as 40% of the residential units are designated as affordable housing. Further, the Act provides developers with expedited permitting, and zoning incentives.
How may this Act effect development?
The Live Local Act has raised some concerns as to expanded zoning and less local government control, especially when it comes to eliminating the local governments’ ability to enact rent control and decide how to control the economic status of neighborhoods.
As a result, developers are now able to construct affordable workforce housing in areas not necessarily permitted previously as, for example, having residential developments in an industrial area.Local municipalities may not have much control regarding residential development as the Act itself and the State has passed such a widespread bill without having to advocate in each particular county or municipality.
Affordable apartments picture courtesy Keysweekly
What does this all mean?
Each municipality is required to designate what areas in their industrial districts will be dedicated to the new affordable housing. But, in all likelihood, cities and towns may move slowly or even wait to be sure before voluntarily proceeding as is required by the new law.
By providing new funding and expanding developer’s abilities to construct more affordable housing, the housing crisis is becoming more prioritized. The question, however, of what changes this Act will also actually bring remains to be seen.
From The Trenches