Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (SB) 102, the Live Local Act, representing the largest investment for housing efforts in state history.
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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 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.
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. ■