(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—In addition to the legislative findings set forth in s. 420.6015, the Legislature finds and declares that:
(a) Housing in economically declining or distressed areas is frequently substandard and is often unaffordable to very-low-income persons and low-income persons;
(b) Community-based organizations often have limited experience in development of quality housing for very-low-income persons and low-income persons in economically declining or distressed areas; and
(c) The staffs and board members of community-based organizations need additional training in housing development as well as technical support to assist them in gaining the experience they need to better serve their communities.
(d) The staffs of state agencies and local governments, whether directly involved in the production of affordable housing or acting in a supportive role, can better serve the goals of state and local governments if their expertise in housing development is expanded.
(2) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this section is to provide community-based organizations and staff of state and local governments with the necessary training and technical assistance to meet the needs of very-low-income persons, low-income persons, and moderate-income persons for standard, affordable housing.
(3) TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.—The Department of Community Affairs shall be responsible for securing the necessary expertise to provide training and technical assistance to staff of local governments, to staff of state agencies, as appropriate, and to community-based organizations, and to persons forming such organizations, which are formed for the purpose of developing new housing and rehabilitating existing housing which is affordable for very-low-income persons, low-income persons, and moderate-income persons. (a) The training component of the program shall be designed to build the housing development capacity of community-based organizations and local governments as a permanent resource for the benefit of communities in this state.
1. The scope of training shall include, but not be limited to, real estate development skills related to affordable housing, including the construction process and property management and disposition, the development of public-private partnerships to reduce housing costs, model housing projects, and management and board responsibilities of community-based organizations.
2. Training activities may include, but are not limited to, materials for self-instruction, workshops, seminars, internships, coursework, and special programs developed in conjunction with state universities and community colleges.
(b) The technical assistance component of the program shall be designed to assist applicants for state-administered programs in developing applications and in expediting project implementation. Technical assistance activities for the staffs of community-based organizations and local governments who are directly involved in the production of affordable housing may include, but are not limited to, workshops for program applicants, onsite visits, guidance in achieving project completion, and a newsletter to community-based organizations and local governments.
(4) POWERS.—The Department of Community Affairs may do all things necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of this section, including exercising the power to:
(a) Enter into contracts and agreements with the Federal Government or with other agencies of the state, with local governments, or with any other person, association, corporation, or entity;
(b) Seek and accept funding from any public or private source; and
(c) Adopt and enforce rules consistent with this section.