Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Live Local Act, representing the largest investment for housing efforts in Florida history.
The bill invests $711 million in multiple programs to expand the availability of housing, downpayment assistance, and focused support for military communities. The investment under this legislation is nearly double the investment made in 2022-2023, which was already the highest investment in 15 years.
“This legislation provides record support for Florida’s workforce and their families to help them live where they work, while also providing historic support for our military communities and the families living near military bases,” said Governor DeSantis. “I applaud Senator Passidomo for leading on this legislation and look forward to the support it will provide to Florida families.”
This legislation invests a record $711 million for housing projects and assistance through the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation (FHFC) to create or build upon housing programs. This includes:
- $259 million for the SAIL program to provide low interest loans to developers building workforce housing.
- $150 million of these funds are recurring for certain specified uses such as redevelopment of underused property and projects near military installations.
- $252 million for the SHIP program to provide local governments with incentives to build partnerships with developers who are preserving available housing or producing more housing.
- $100 million for the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time home buyers with a focus on law enforcement, first responders, teachers, active duty military, and military veterans.
- $100 million for FHFC to implement a loan program to alleviate inflation-related cost increases for FHFC-approved housing projects.
Additionally, this bill builds upon efforts to help Floridians afford to purchase their first home by codifying the Hometown Heroes program and increasing the borrowing limit per loan to $35,000 or 5% of the purchase price of a home. This bill will also broaden FHFC’s ability to invest in affordable housing for those that are currently in the foster care system or who are aging out of the system and expands eligibility for the Job Growth Grant Fund to authorize public infrastructure projects that support expanding housing opportunities.
“Providing safe, quality and affordable housing for families in Florida continues to be the mission of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Legislature, and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation,” said Mike DiNapoli, Executive Director of Florida Housing Finance Corporation. “As the state’s housing finance agency, we appreciate Senate President Passidomo’s continued dedication to this issue and are honored to be entrusted with the resources to serve Floridians with their housing needs.”
This legislation also creates a new tax donation program to allow corporate taxpayers to direct certain tax payments to the FHFC, up to $100 million annually, to help fund the SAIL program and increases the amount of tax credits available through the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program from $14.5 million to $25 million annually. Additionally, the bill provides a sales tax refund of up to $5,000 on building materials for housing units funded through FHFC.
“When I moved here to Naples almost 43 years ago, the community was talking about the lack of housing for our workers,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo. “It was a problem then and remains a persistent problem in many areas of our state – that changes today! The Governor and Speaker are amazing partners in this effort. Together, we are shutting down affordable housing stereotypes and creating attainable housing options needed by the majority of our workforce, the backbone of Florida’s economy. It is clear that the broad appeal of the free state of Florida has impacted our population and our housing needs. Countless families and business owners have fled high tax, lockdown states in search of a better life. As our state continues to grow, our Live Local Act will make sure Floridians can live close to good jobs, schools, hospitals, and other critical centers of our communities that fit comfortably in their household budgets, no matter the stage of life or income.”
“The affordable housing package signed by Governor DeSantis will enable hardworking Floridians to put down roots in the communities they serve,” said House Speaker Paul Renner. “This is groundbreaking legislation that will provide Florida’s families, seniors, and workers with a safe and affordable place to live. I commend Senate President Kathleen Passidomo for her passion and tireless work to ensure affordable housing is attainable for all Floridians.”
Florida Realtors and the Florida Chamber of Commerce also applauded the legislation.
“Thank you to Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, House Speaker Paul Renner, Senator Alexis Calatayud and Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera for their leadership and hard work in making this historic affordable housing initiative a reality,” a joint statement from Florida Realtors President Mike McGraw and Florida Realtors CEO Margy Grant said. “Far too many hard-working Floridians cannot afford to live in a home near where they work. SB 102 tackles this problem in a multi-faceted way that will make the dream of homeownership possible for more Floridians and lower the cost of rents throughout the state.”
“Florida’s workforce housing crisis has hampered our state and disrupted our economic growth potential,” said Mark Wilson, President & CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Rising housing costs have not only hurt Florida families, but have been a significant issue stifling Florida’s competitiveness, affordability, and quality of life. Thank you, Governor DeSantis, for prioritizing affordable workforce housing and signing this important legislation. Florida is creating 1 in every 10 U.S. jobs, so it is essential to have affordable workforce housing to ensure Florida’s workforce can ‘live local’ in the communities where they work. As Florida continues to grow this legislation will ensure Floridians can live closer to their jobs, schools, and healthcare and still remain within their household budgets.”
“Today is a new day for workforce housing in the free state of Florida,” said Senator Alexis Calatayud. “The biggest housing concern we hear from young people is that there is no place for them to raise their own families in communities they grew up in, where their extended families have lived for generations. That changes today. Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, President Passidomo, and Speaker Renner, our Live Local Act is going to help bridge the gap in a meaningful way with market-driven, short-and long-term solutions that improve options for both homeownership and affordable rental units in communities across our state.”
“As our state continues to grow, we must ensure hardworking Floridians can find affordable housing near good jobs, schools, hospitals, and other critical community centers,” said Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera. “I want to thank Governor DeSantis for signing this legislation and I proud to have worked alongside Senator Alexis Calatayud, President Passidomo, and Speaker Renner to address the housing affordability crisis in our state.”