Yesterday, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo announced sweeping affordable housing legislation that will be her top priority this legislative session. The bill, SB 102 sponsored by Senator Alexis Calatayud, will increase current state funding for affordable housing and incentivize developers to build new affordable housing projects. Some key components of the bill to be aware of include:
Increases state funding for affordable housing:
- Appropriates $252 million to the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program.
- Appropriates $259 million to the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) program. This includes $150 million in new recurring funds.
- Redirects documentary stamp revenue from general revenue to SAIL.
- Incentives for innovative projects focusing on mixed-use, urban infill or developments near military installations.
- Incentives for new projects near existing workforce housing units to facilitate rehabilitation of older rental units.
- Expands the Hometown Heroes Program funding with an additional $100 million and expands eligibility to all of Florida’s hometown workforce.
- Increases the annual amount of available tax credits in the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program to $25 million.
- Encourages private sector investment in new affordable housing construction.
Creates a new corporate tax donation program to give businesses the opportunity to contribute directly to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) to benefit the SAIL program:
- Provides for a refund of up to $5,000 per unit for sales tax paid on building materials for developments financed through the FHFC.
- Appropriates $100 million in the current fiscal year to provide additional gap financing for projects in the development pipeline experiencing unexpected hardships in starting construction. Any funds not used for this purpose will be redirected to the SAIL program.
Expands affordable housing options through new incentives:
- Creates a tax exemption for developments that set aside at least 70 units for affordable housing to encourage new or recently constructed and substantially rehabilitated developments to offer attainable units.
- Allows local governments the flexibility to offer, through ordinance, a property tax exemption to property owners who dedicate units for affordable housing at extremely-low-income, very-low-income, or both.
Reduces regulations to promote housing options:
- Promotes the development of affordable multifamily housing in commercial and mixed-use areas by reducing certain regulations for proposals to build a multifamily or a mixed-use residential project that reserves at least 40% of the residential units for households earning up to 120% area median income (AMI) for at least 30 years.
- Removes provisions in current law allowing local governments to impose rent control under certain circumstances.
- Requires local governments to publish online the inventory of local government-owned property that may be suitable for development of affordable housing.
- Requires local governments to maintain a public written policy outlining procedures for expediting permits and development orders for affordable housing projects.
The bill has been referred to two Senate committees before it will be considered by the full Senate. Look for this bill to move quickly in the Senate when session begins on March 7. The House has not yet filed a companion bill, but House Speaker Paul Renner offered his praise for the proposal.
We will be monitoring this important piece of legislation this session and alert you of the bill’s ultimate progress. If you should have any questions on this legislation please contact us.