Calatayud Proposal to Inject $100 Million into Florida Affordable Housing Gains Traction

Calatayud Proposal to Inject $100 Million into Florida Affordable Housing Gains Traction

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
January 15, 2024

Florida Senator Alexis Calatayud’s (R-38) recently introduced affordable housing bill is moving swiftly through Florida’s legislative labyrinth. 

Senator Calatayud’s bill reforms certain aspects of Florida’s building code while also providing an additional $100 million in funding for Florida’s affordable housing ‘Hometown Hero Program’.

The ‘Hometown Hero Program’, originally established in 2023, aims to assist first-time, qualified home buyers to purchase a primary residence in the community where they work and serve.

Program applicants must be seeking to purchase a home as a primary residence, be first-time home buyers, Florida residents, and must be employed full-time by a Florida-based employer. 

Additionally, applicants must provide documentation of full-time employment, or full-time status for self-employed individuals, of 35 hours or more per week.

Veterans and current armed forces service members, including members of the Florida National Guard, are exempt from the first-time homebuyer requirement. 

Full eligibility and program details can be found here

Calatayud’s proposal to inject the program with an additional $100 million would derive funds from the federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. 

The concerns of many Floridians over rising housing costs have been reflected by Florida’s political representatives. 

Last September, measures as drastic as rent control were introduced by Democrats in the Florida House of Representatives. 

Florida Representative Jervonte Edmonds (D) introduced HB 31 to cap rent raises to 30 percent of the current amount charged and limit inferior raises to once a year.

In other words, landlords would be prohibited from increasing rent by more than 30 percent of what they already charge, and raises that do not surpass the 30 percent threshold would only be permitted once a year. 

Rent control is a proposal that, as inflation skyrockets, politicians are increasingly calling for to appease an increasingly frustrated constituency. 

However, Florida statutes explicitly bar individual cities or counties from imposing rent control measures. 

Statute 166.043 specifically reads that “a municipality, county, or other entity of local government may not adopt or maintain in effect any law, ordinance, rule, or other measure that would have the effect of imposing controls on rents.”

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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