Last week, Governor DeSantis signed SB 102, entitled the Live Local Act. This sweeping affordable housing legislation contains a comprehensive, statewide workforce housing strategy that is designed to increase the availability of affordable and attainable housing options throughout the state. Some key components of the bill include:
Increases Funding for Workforce 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 frontline workers.
- Increases the annual amount of available tax credits in the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program to $25 million.
Uses Private Sector Investment to Increase Workforce Housing Projects:
- Creates a new corporate tax donation program that gives businesses the opportunity to contribute directly to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) to benefit the SAIL program instead of paying portions of their corporate and insurance premium taxes, up to a total of $100 million per year.
- 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.
Creates New Tax Incentives to Expand Workforce Housing Options:
- Creates a property tax exemption for land owned by a nonprofit entity that is leased for a minimum of 99 years for the purpose of providing affordable housing.
- Creates the “Missing Middle” property tax exemption to encourage new or recently constructed and substantially rehabilitated developments to offer attainable units. The bill creates a tax exemption for these developments that set aside at least 70 units for affordable housing. Tax exemptions are targeted to moderate-and low-income brackets:
- Up to 80% AMI unit = 100% tax exemption for the unit (approximate income level of $62,650 for a family of four)
- 81% up to 120% AMI unit = 75% tax exemption for the unit (approximate income level of $62,651 to $94,000 for a family of four)
- In addition to meeting affordable housing requirements (rent and income limits), rent for the set-aside units must be at least 10% below market rate.
- Allows counties and municipalities 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 (50% AMI or below, which is approximately $39,150 or less for a family of four). If all units in the development will be used for affordable housing, then the local government can exempt up to 100% of each unit from property tax; if less are dedicated for affordable housing, then the local government can exempt up to 75% of the value of the unit from property tax. Eligible developments include both new and existing developments and must have at least 50 units and dedicate at least 20% for affordable housing.
Reduces Local Government Regulations and Provides Transparency to Incentivize the Development of Affordable Housing:
- Requires local governments to approve developments with at least 40% of affordable housing units (up to 120% AMI) in areas zoned for mixed-use, commercial, or industrial uses, and provides incentives for such affordable units by increasing the permitted density and height. These incentives expire in 2033.
- Prohibits local governments from enacting rent control measures.
- Requires local governments to publish on their websites the inventory of local government-owned property that may be suitable for development of affordable housing.
- Requires local governments to maintain on their websites a written policy outlining procedures for expediting permits and development orders for affordable housing projects.
There is a great deal of interest in this newly enacted legislation. We will host a webinar to review the various provisions of SB 102 and to answer questions regarding the various sources of financing newly available pursuant to this legislation as well as the significant development incentives being provided. Lookout for an email regarding the webinar shortly!
If you should have any questions on this legislation please contact us.