Gov. DeSantis signed SB 102, the broad-based pro-housing bill backed by Florida Realtors, into law on Wed. It “does so many amazing things,” says Pres. Mike McGraw.
NAPLES, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 102, known as the “Live Local Act,” on Wednesday morning. The bill creates a comprehensive, statewide workforce housing strategy to increase affordable, attainable housing options for Florida workers who hope to live in the communities they serve. The governor signed the legislation following a press conference held at Founders Square in Naples.
“Thank you to Gov. 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,” said 2023 Florida Realtors® President G. Mike McGraw, a broker-associate with RE/MAX Central Realty in Apopka. “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.”
Gov. DeSantis described the bill as “the largest ever support for housing in state history” that will help Floridians live the communities where they work. “This bill has $711 million for projects through the Florida Housing Finance Corp.,” he said. “I think it doubles what the Legislature did last year (for housing) and that was at a 15-year high.”
During the press conference, legislative leaders, state officials and others spoke about SB 102’s passage and how it will help Floridians.
“When I moved to Naples 43 years ago, the community was talking about the lack of housing for our workers,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, the Live Local Act sponsor. “It was a problem then and it’s a problem today – and not just for southwest Florida but the entire state of Florida. As the governor said, the free state of Florida is attracting so many people to move here and that has just exacerbated the problem. The Live Local Act is an amazing, 106-page bill of ideas and suggestions on how we can provide affordable, safe housing for our workers. We have so many things in this bill, there’s something for everyone; so that we believe, from day one, there will be a big impact on the lack of housing for our citizens.”
Florida needs more affordable housing, and no single solution can solve that problem. As a result, SB 102 makes a number of changes that, taken as a whole, should help Florida take a major step forward in solving the current housing challenge.
Among other things, the new law provides additional money for Florida Realtors’ top priority in 2022, the state’s Hometown Heroes Program by appropriating $100 million more to the effort. It also widens eligibility from career-based assistance to income-based down payment assistance. Previously, maximum loans were $25,000; under SB 102, that rises to $35,000.
Detective Frank Jones with the Collier’s County Sheriff’s Office shared his personal experience with the Hometown Heroes Program. He moved from Illinois to join the sheriff’s office, he said, and, “I’ve been doing this almost 36 years. And I’m so glad I received this Hometown Heroes loan to buy my new home. Because of this program, I was able to purchase my home in the community I serve. That’s huge – because you’re not only seeing people at their worst moments, but you also get to see them at their good moments, too.”
For more information on the new law, see “Fla. Legislature Passes ‘Live Local’ Housing Bill.”
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