It’s no secret: Migration to Florida has been on the rise in recent years, creating a surge in housing demand. Amid such an influx, the state’s housing market is facing increased tightness. That’s created a challenge for individuals seeking affordable living spaces, especially for those who wish to live near their workplaces. The Live Local Act (SB 102) is an attempt to alleviate this crisis and create more options in the Sunshine State.
Live Local Act
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Live Local Act into law, which went into effect in July 2023. This groundbreaking legislation aims to incentivize the development of affordable housing across the state. The Act allocates a substantial $1.5 billion in state funding over the next decade to support the creation of affordable housing options.
“The provisions of this act are truly historic in scope,” said Larry Starr, Executive Director of SVN Commercial Advisory Group. “It’s already sparking new housing initiatives across Florida as developers are becoming aware of it. The issues surrounding it are complex, but we at SVN Commercial Advisory Group are staying on top of them so we can better advise our clients.”
The benefits of this program include:
- Incentivizing private investment: By creating incentives for developers to engage in the construction of affordable housing, the Live Local Act is expected to draw many more investors to the state. The Act’s financial benefits make private investment in affordable housing more desirable and more likely.
- Spurring housing projects: Live Local is expected to increase development of housing projects with rent caps and cost reduction programs, making Florida living more accessible to many.
- Overall funding allocations: For the fiscal year 2023-2024, the Live Local Act is allocating nearly a billion in total funding toward a number of existing housing programs in the state.
- State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) program: SAIL provides low-interest loans to developers focusing on affordable housing projects. The program is receiving an infusion of $259 million under the Act.
- State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program: SHIP supports local governments with housing assistance programs, promoting affordable housing initiatives. The Act is allocating $252 million in funding for this important program.
- Hometown Heroes Program: This revised program, dedicated to first-time homebuyers, is receiving $100 million for down payment and closing cost assistance.
Key Provisions of the Live Local Act
The Live Local Act introduces essential provisions to ensure the success of affordable housing initiatives. Some noteworthy provisions include:
- Local government approval of multifamily: The Act mandates that local governmental authorities approve affordable multifamily uses in designated zones, provided that at least 40 percent of the residential units are affordable for a minimum of 30 years.
- Limits on density and height restrictions: Local governments are restricted from imposing density and building height restrictions below the highest allowed limits in the zoning jurisdiction. This encourages the development of affordable housing by removing many of the usual limitations. For example, developers will be able to construct extra stories on buildings that were once prohibited under local zoning ordinances.
- Tax incentives for developers: To further motivate developers, the Act offers various tax incentives. Notably, it will offer ad valorem property tax exemptions for non-profit entities providing affordable housing.
The Live Local Act represents a significant step forward in addressing Florida’s housing crunch. By providing substantial funding, incentivizing private investment, and implementing key provisions, it aims to create a more affordable and accessible living environment for residents. As the state continues to grow, these measures are crucial in ensuring that Florida remains an attractive and viable place to call home.
Clients can depend on SVN Commercial Advisory Group to provide them with information and direction on how to best take advantage of the Live Local Act’s many provisions. Contact us to get started.