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rajibraj January 18, 2023

The 2023 Florida Legislative Session proved to be a pivotal moment for affordable housing in the state. Among the notable developments was the Live Local Act, a comprehensive piece of legislation designed to address the housing crisis and provide better housing solutions for low-income Floridians. This article summarizes the significant housing-related bills that were signed into law during the session. 


Summary of Key Legislation 

1. Funding for Affordable Housing Programs

The Live Local Act demonstrated a commitment to affordable housing by allocating substantial funds. Specifically, the Act earmarked up to $811 million for various affordable housing programs, with $511 million dedicated to the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) programs. This allocation fully funded the core programs of the Sadowski Trust Fund. Moreover, the Act included a provision for an additional $150 million per year for the next decade specifically for SAIL, with targeted uses and increased flexibility. A new Live Local Tax Donation Program was also established to further support the SAIL program.

2. Zoning and Land Use Provisions

The Live Local Act addressed zoning and land use challenges related to affordable housing. The Act introduced two new subsections to Florida law to facilitate the development of affordable housing on parcels zoned for commercial, industrial, or mixed-use purposes. This development must set aside at least 40% of its space for affordable housing up to 120% of the area median income (AMI). Additionally, the Act modified existing land use tools to encourage affordable housing development, especially on publicly owned land. It mandated local governments to share their affordable housing land inventory lists online, extended transparency requirements to special districts, and discouraged rent stabilization measures.

3. Tax Exemptions for Affordable Housing

The Act incorporated three new property tax exemptions to incentivize affordable housing development. These exemptions include:

  • Nonprofit Land Exemption: Provides property tax exemption to nonprofit-owned land leased for a minimum of 99 years for affordable housing.
  • Missing Middle Exemption: Grants property tax exemptions to developments with 71 or more affordable units for households up to 120% AMI.
  • Local Option Property Tax Exemption: Authorizes local governments to implement a property tax exemption for developments with at least 50 units and at least 20% set aside for households up to 60% AMI.


4. Other Housing Policies

In addition to the Live Local Act, several other bills were signed into law:

  • Fees in Lieu of Security Deposits (HB 133): Landlords can offer tenants the option to pay a nonrefundable monthly fee instead of a security deposit, potentially reducing initial barriers.
  • Residential Tenancies (HB 1417): Centralizes regulations governing residential tenancies at the state level, preempting local ordinances.
  • Natural Emergencies (SB 250): Introduces disaster-related reforms, including statewide standards for temporary residential structures after natural emergencies.
  • My Safe Florida Home Program (HB 881): Modifies the My Safe Florida Home Program statute, increasing the grant amount for low-income homeowners and funding the program at $100 million.
  • Disposal of Property (SB 678): Empowers the Florida Department of Transportation to transfer unused land for affordable housing purposes.


Looking Ahead

As the 2023-24 Legislative Session approaches, the focus remains on sustaining and expanding affordable housing initiatives. The Florida Housing Coalition, working alongside the Sadowski Coalition, is committed to securing full funding for Sadowski Trust Fund programs and advocating for additional affordable housing resources through General Revenue.

The 2023 legislative session showcased significant progress in addressing affordable housing issues, demonstrating the government’s dedication to providing better housing options for low-income Floridians. The impact of these legislative changes is expected to be felt in the years to come, as the state continues its journey towards more accessible and sustainable housing solutions.