Live Local Act to go to Desantis for Signature
The Florida legislature has passed a comprehensive affordable housing bill worth $711 million after two years of rising rents. The “Live Local Act,” which passed the House with a vote of 103-6, will now head to Governor Ron Desantis for approval.
The bill includes funding for development programs, incentives for development, and bans on rent controls. Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, who led the bill’s creation, stated that Floridians are eager to live closer to their communities and spend more time with their families. The legislation includes exemptions for properties with at least 70 units that offer rents 10% below the market rate and are targeted at low- to middle-income families.
Municipalities and counties will also be allowed to spare property taxes for owners who allocate units for those earning 50% or less of the area’s median income. The bill mandates local governments to approve multi-family developments in commercial or mixed-use areas where at least 40% of units are designated as affordable housing.
The legislation allocates $711 million for affordable housing programs, including $252 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership, $150 million annually for the State Apartment Incentive Loan, and $100 million for the Hometown Heroes program.
However, critics have raised concerns about the bans on municipalities’ rent controls and the measures that limit local governments’ ability to reject certain developments. Democratic State House member Rita Harris, whose constituents voted in favor of rent controls last year, expressed concerns about who decides where and how developments are built.