Florida Housing’s board approved money for 30 developments across Fla., with most of the funding coming from the Florida Realtors-supported Live Local Act.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) Board of Directors approved $117.3 million in loan funding to address the inflation-related cost increases affecting 30 affordable housing developments across the state.

The majority of the funding comes from the Live Local Act, a law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in March, which overhauled the state’s affordable housing programs and bolstered trust funds with hundreds of millions aimed at quickly bringing more affordable housing units onto the Florida market, representing the largest investment in the history of housing efforts in Florida.

Under the Live Local Act, $100 million was allocated to FHFC for distribution through a competitive process to projects currently under development that demonstrate a verifiable financing gap related to market inflation.

To maximize assistance, Florida Housing also utilized past program income for this new viability loan program. The approved funding will support approximately 3,600 housing units across 30 developments in 16 counties statewide.

This funding helps bridge the financial gap for projects who have already been awarded assistance from Florida Housing so they can continue development as planned and deliver these units to their communities, said Mike DiNapoli, Executive Director of FHFC.

This funding initiative follows the creation of the 2022 Construction Housing Inflation Response Program (CHIRP). CHIRP was established in response to feedback from developers regarding rising construction costs. The program awarded funds to 65 developments, preserving the viability of over 4,000 new affordable housing units in the previous funding cycle.

A deep-dive data analysis of Florida’s ongoing affordable housing crisis, issued jointly this week by the Florida Policy Project founded by former Republican State Senator Jeff Brandes in cooperation with Florida State University’s DeVoe Policy Center, found that the state’s current zoning framework significantly contributes to the state’s affordable housing crisis by restricting the organic growth and adaptation of communities to changing housing demands.

The report highlights upzoning as a potential solution, a practice that allows residential density to increase naturally as neighborhoods evolve to accommodate higher densities. This strategy involves lifting restrictions on housing types and enabling the division of existing parcels, thus potentially allowing for the creation of hundreds of thousands of new housing units.

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Author: marlam