NLIHC state coalition partner the Florida Housing Coalition (FHC) and its ally, the Sadowski Coalition, successfully concluded a five-year campaign resulting in the repeal a $243 million cap on state and local housing trust funds. Repealing the cap allows these housing trust funds to utilize all monies generated by the portion of the state’s documentary stamp tax dedicated to affordable housing.
A law that was implemented in 2007 directed any funds generated from the documentary stamp tax in excess of $243 million to be automatically diverted into the state’s general revenue account. “The cap was arbitrary,” said FHC President Jaimie Ross. “Now with the repeal, the state and municipalities will be better able to address our state’s affordable housing needs.” Advocates anticipate that as the real estate market recovers and more revenue is generated, state and local governments will be better equipped to increase and preserve housing for low income households.
In addition to advocating for the appropriation of housing trust funds for housing, FHC is working to ensure that nonprofit housing providers are full participants in the production and preservation of multifamily affordable housing. At their annual statewide conference in September 2010, FHC launched the Florida Nonprofit Housing Advocates Network. The purpose of the Network is to build capacity and provide technical assistance for mission-driven nonprofit developers who wish to compete with for-profits in various areas of affordable housing development. The Network also serves as a forum for nonprofit developers to discuss potential solutions to the unique challenges they face.
“Mission-based nonprofits are critical to producing housing for the most vulnerable populations. Their inability to compete with for-profit developers due to a history of focusing primarily on single-family housing and a competitive system that puts nonprofits at a disadvantage has a direct impact on the populations that are served in Florida, as mission-based nonprofits are more likely to house the most vulnerable populations,” said Ms. Ross.
The Florida Nonprofit Housing Advocates Network will work from January through May next year on a comprehensive set of recommendations to be presented to the state’s tax credit allocating agency, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. “The Florida Housing Coalition is committed to ensuring that as funding for housing programs increases, nonprofit housing developers have the knowledge and technical skills to rehabilitate, preserve, and expand housing for low income Floridians.”