Last week, the state of Florida finalized a new comprehensive affordable housing law which will infuse over $700 million into housing and make it easier to build new housing with zoning changes and tax breaks.

Entitled the “Live Local Act,” this new law represents a sweeping change to Florida law and it is intended to create more housing to help with the state’s affordable housing shortage. Before being signed by Governor DeSantis, the bill gained broad bipartisan support in the House and Senate. Here are a few of the key provisions in the new law:

  • Encourages private investment in affordable housing through a new corporate tax donation program.
  • Removes a provision in current law that would allow local government to impose rent control in certain circumstances.
  • Limits local government’s ability to restrict or overly regulate the use, density, or height of affordable housing developments while also encouraging the use of public property for the development of affordable housing with an expedited permitting process.
  • Expands the Hometown Heroes Program, a downpayment and closing cost assistance program for law enforcement officials, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare employees, and active military personnel or veterans.
  • Added funding for low-interest loans to developers building workforce housing.

This bill is largely welcome in Florida, a state which became one of the least accessible housing markets over the past few years due to rising home prices and low inventory.  This bill also makes it impossible for municipalities to enact rent control. 

“I applaud this legislation that Governor DeSantis signed into law. This bill, unlike many affordable housing targeted bills across our country, actually has legitimate incentives in it for developers and encourages lower-cost building and more leeway for developers to build larger structures and therefore higher potential upside. In my eyes, this is a real effort to truly create more affordable housing. The Florida Real Estate Association should be acknowledged for their hard work in getting these changes enacted.”

This bill is largely considered to represent how affordable housing should be executed with cities and towns being more willing to work with developers instead of against them.  The more developers are able to permit, fund, and complete housing projects will inherently address the historic lack of available housing, with such demand driving prices to astronomical levels.