Section 420.0003, Florida Statutes 2003
420.0003 State housing strategy.--
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.--It is the intent of this act to begin the process of articulating a state housing strategy that will carry the state towards the goal of assuring that by the year 2010 each Floridian shall have decent and affordable housing. This strategy must involve state, regional, and local governments working in partnership with communities and the private sector and must involve financial as well as regulatory commitment to accomplish this goal.
(2) GOAL.--By the year 2010, this state shall ensure that decent and affordable housing is available for all of its residents.
(a) Housing need.--The continuum of need for decent and affordable housing shall be addressed, with an emphasis on assisting the neediest persons.
1. State housing programs shall promote the self-sufficiency and economic dignity of the people in this state, including elderly persons.
2. The housing requirements of special needs populations shall be addressed through programs that promote decentralization and deinstitutionalization.
3. All housing initiatives and programs shall be nondiscriminatory.
4. The geographic distribution of resources shall provide for the development of housing in rural and urban areas.
(b) Public-private partnerships.--Cost-effective, public-private partnerships shall be emphasized to produce and preserve affordable housing.
1. Data shall be developed and maintained on the affordable housing activities of local governments, community-based organizations, and private developers.
2. The state shall assist local governments and community-based organizations by providing training and technical assistance.
3. The state shall provide incentives for public sector and private sector development of affordable housing.
4. The department shall coordinate state programs with local activities and with federal initiatives.
(c) Preservation of housing stock.--The existing stock of affordable housing shall be preserved and improved.
1. Units of housing for low-income and elderly persons shall be preserved and improved through rehabilitation programs.
2. Neighborhood revitalization efforts shall be expanded in order to promote suitable living environments for individuals and families.
3. The state should encourage the Federal Government to continue the availability of federally subsidized units subject to mortgage prepayment and rent subsidy contract expiration.
(d) Public housing.--The important contribution of public housing to the well-being of low-income citizens shall be acknowledged through state and local government efforts to provide services and assistance through existing programs to public housing facilities and their tenants. Such services may include, but are not limited to, transportation, education, law enforcement, and health services. Any state or local government funds allocated to enhance public housing must be used to supplement, not supplant, federal support.
(e) Housing production or rehabilitation programs.--New programs for housing production or rehabilitation shall be developed in accordance with the following general guidelines as appropriate for the purpose of the specific program:
1. State and local governments shall provide incentives to encourage the private sector to be the primary delivery vehicle for the development of affordable housing.
2. State funds should be heavily leveraged to achieve the maximum local and private commitment of funds while achieving the program objectives.
3. To the maximum extent possible, state funds should be expended to provide housing units rather than to support program administration.
4. State money should be used, when possible, as loans rather than grants.
5. State funds should be available only to local governments that provide incentives or financial assistance for housing.
6. State funds should be made available only for projects which are consistent with the local government comprehensive plan.
7. State funding for housing should not be made available to local governments whose comprehensive plans have been found not in compliance with chapter 163 and who have not entered into a stipulated settlement agreement with the Department of Community Affairs to bring the plan into compliance.
8. Mixed income projects should be encouraged, to avoid a concentration of low-income residents in one area or project.
9. Distribution of state housing funds should be flexible and consider the regional and local needs, resources, and capabilities of housing producers.
10. Income levels used to determine program eligibility should be adjusted for family size in determining the eligibility of specific beneficiaries.
11. To the maximum extent possible, state-owned lands that are appropriate for the development of affordable housing shall be made available for that purpose.
(4) IMPLEMENTATION.--The Department of Community Affairs and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation in carrying out the strategy articulated herein shall have the following duties:
(a) The fiscal resources of the Department of Community Affairs shall be directed to achieve the following programmatic objectives:
1. Effective technical assistance and capacity-building programs shall be established at the state and local levels.
2. The Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing at the University of Florida shall develop and maintain statewide data on housing needs and production, provide technical assistance relating to real estate development and finance, operate an information clearinghouse on housing programs, and coordinate state housing initiatives with local government and federal programs.
(b) The agency strategic plan of the Department of Community Affairs, prepared pursuant to the provisions of ss. 1186.021 and 2186.022, shall include specific goals, objectives, and strategies that implement the housing policies in this section and shall include the strategic plan for housing production prepared by the corporation pursuant to s. 420.511.
(c) The Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing, in consultation with the Department of Community Affairs and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, shall review and evaluate existing housing rehabilitation, production, and finance programs to determine their consistency with relevant policies in this section and identify the needs of specific populations, including, but not limited to, elderly and handicapped persons, and shall recommend statutory modifications where appropriate. The Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing, in consultation with the Department of Community Affairs and the corporation, shall also evaluate the degree of coordination between state housing programs, and between state, federal, and local housing activities, and shall recommend improved program linkages. The recommendations required above and a report of any programmatic modifications made as a result of these policies shall be included in the housing report required by s. 420.6075, beginning December 31, 1991, and every 5 years thereafter.
(d) The department and the corporation are anticipated to conform the administrative rules for each housing program to the policies stated in this section, provided that such changes in the rules are consistent with the statutory intent or requirements for the program. This authority applies only to programs offering loans, grants, or tax credits and only to the extent that state policies are consistent with applicable federal requirements.
History.--s. 2, ch. 88-376; s. 12, ch. 90-275; s. 7, ch. 95-396; s. 1, ch. 97-167.
1Note.--"Strategic plans" in s. 186.021 were redesignated "long-range program plans" by s. 42, ch. 2000-371.
2Note.--References to agency strategic plans were deleted from s. 186.022 by s. 43, ch. 2000-371.