Legislature approves Passidomo’s affordable housing bill

March 24, 2023 | Politico

Florida legislators are pumping more than $700 million into affordable housing programs in an attempt to deal with the state’s persistent housing affordability crisis under a bill sent Friday to Gov. Ron DeSantis. But the legislation — which is the top session priority for Senate President Kathleen Passidomo — contains new restrictions on local governments to combat rising rents that drew opposition from some House Democrats on Friday.



House passes “Live Local” affordable workforce housing measure

March 24, 2023 | The Capitolist

The Florida House of Representatives passed SB 102, referred to as the “Live Local Act,” on Friday, enacting measures in an attempt to tackle the state’s ongoing affordable housing crisis. The bill, introduced by Sen. Alexis Calatayud, aims to provide incentives to private developers to construct affordable housing units for low-to-moderate-income workers in the area where they work. The legislation served as a top priority for Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and received bipartisan support.



Florida has an affordable housing crisis. Will new legislation fix it?

March 24, 2023 | Tampa Bay Times

For years, as the cost of buying a home or renting an apartment has risen faster than in most other states, Florida legislators have not made it a priority, routinely diverting millions from the fund devoted to financing affordable housing. That changed this week, when the Legislature passed the state’s most meaningful housing legislation in decades.



Florida Senate President’s priority: Easing affordable housing crisis

March 20, 2023 | WLRN

Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, in an exclusive interview with the Florida Roundup, said her ambitious $711 million proposal to alleviate the state’s affordable housing crisis includes financial incentives to developers to build apartments in strip shopping centers and other commercial areas.



Florida Senate Passes Affordable Housing Plan

March 9, 2023 | Tallahassee Reports

Moving quickly on priorities of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, Florida senators Wednesday passed measures aimed at spurring more affordable housing for workers and boosting a trail network and wildlife corridor. Senators unanimously approved what has been dubbed the “Live Local Act” (SB 102), which includes providing incentives for investment in affordable housing and seeking more mixed-use developments in struggling commercial areas. 



Senate President’s signature initiative: Hundreds of millions for affordable housing; is it enough?

March 6, 2023 | Florida Phoenix

When a major legislative proposal addressing Florida’s affordable housing crisis was introduced by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo in late January, some Democratic lawmakers quickly blasted the plan as a giveaway to developers, in part because it bans rent control measures that many residents would want. But whatever their qualms were at that time, key Democratic senators have come to support Passidomo’s signature initiative for the 2023 session that begins March 7.



Florida’s long struggle to fix the affordable housing crisis, explained

March 5, 2023 | The Capitolist

With more and more people flocking to Florida with each passing year, the Sunshine State’s success is also starting to cast some long, dark shadows that threaten to engulf hundreds of thousands of people who are steadily getting priced out of the state’s increasingly expensive housing market. The dream of living in a tropical paradise with a low cost of living is quickly fading as workers struggle to find affordable housing close to their workplaces while making ends meet in a nation where the cost of living continues to rise.



‘Live Local Act’ targeting affordable housing heads to Senate floor with changes

February 22, 2023 | Florida Politics

Proponents call it the most important affordable housing measure in decades. Critics say it will keep local governments from addressing the problem. A legislative package meant to increase Florida’s affordable housing inventory while banning local governments from imposing rent controls is on its way to the Florida Senate floor after undergoing several changes. On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved a substitute version of the bill (SB 102), dubbed the “Live Local Act,” a priority of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.



Florida senators advance ‘poison pill’ housing legislation that would ban rent control statewide

February 22, 2023 | Orlando Weekly

Florida lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a sweeping housing bill through the Senate Appropriations Committee that would, among other things, prevent local governments from implementing rent control — a move that some housing advocates say directly targets Orange County. The bill, SB 102, would prohibit local governments in Florida, such as cities and counties, from enacting ordinances, measures or other rules that would “impose” caps on rent increases.


Sunburn – What’s Hot in Florida Politics – 2.9.23

February 9, 2023 | Florida Politics

“We applaud the Senate Committee on Community Affairs today for their support of Senate Bill 102 and for passing it out of their committee,” said Mark Hendrickson, the facilitator of the Sadowski Coalition and executive director of the Florida Association of Local Housing Finance Authorities “This is a well-thought-out and collaborative piece of legislation that will help to address Florida’s backlog of affordable, attainable and workforce housing in the state. SB 102 will not only maintain the high level of funding for Florida’s SHIP and SAIL programs, but it will provide additional funding for SAIL and work to increase attainable and affordable housing options — for Floridians of all income levels and all stages of life — throughout the state.”


Editorial | State OKs tax credits for proposed housing project

January 27, 2023 | Citrus County Chronicle

In a competitive process, one of four affordable housing projects planned for Citrus County was recently able to secure approval from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), which oversees tax credits for affordable housing: The Fountains at Hidden Lake at West Ashburn Lane and U.S. 19, Crystal River.

Growth; comparing Vero Beach Twin Pairs to Sebastian; hate; DeSantis & insurance

January 27, 2023 | TC Palm

Blake Fontenay’s recent column (“Let cities, counties decide how much room they have to grow”) was one of, if not the best opinion piece, yet. The residents, voters, taxpayers, quality of life and community character protectors show up time and time again and petition their small town Stuart commissioners and their Martin County “We Are Different” commissioners to not destroy our existing community character and quality of life.


Sunburn – What’s Hot in Florida Politics – 1.27.23

January 27, 2023 | Florida Politics

Sadowski Coalition applauds Passidomo’s affordable housing plan — The Sadowski Coalition praised the “LIVE LOCAL Workforce Housing Proposal” put forward by Passidomo and carried by Sen. Alexis Calatayud. “On behalf of the Sadowski Coalition, we thank Senate President Passidomo for addressing the dire need of affordable, attainable and workforce housing in the state, and we are excited to see the introduction of this proposal,” said Mark Hendrickson, the facilitator of the Sadowski Coalition and executive director of the Florida Association of Local Housing Finance Authorities. “The Senate President has long been an advocate for housing — from sponsoring ‘Stop the Sweeps’ legislation and supporting the full funding of Florida’s SHIP and SAIL programs — and we are confident that this work on housing will move forward good policies to unlock more housing supply and options.


Housing advocates say commentary on Florida’s rental market hits close to home

January 26, 2023 | Bay News 9

The nonprofit Florida TaxWatch released a commentary update on the state’s housing rental market Thursday, saying rent increases seen statewide in recent years go beyond what trends had predicted. “I mean, it’s historical,” St. Petersburg Tenants Union organizer Jack Wallace said of increases in that city. “It’s some of the biggest rates that have risen in the entire nation.”


Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo unveils plan to tackle affordable housing ‘crisis’

January 26, 2023 | WFTS-TV

Florida’s Senate president thinks she has a plan to tackle the state’s affordable housing crisis. President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, unveiled a massive 93-page bill Thursday. It aims to spur private developers to create more affordable housing, ensuring Floridians can live near places they work. “This is something that is a crisis in our state,” Passidomo said during a morning news conference. “It has become a huge burden on our citizens and our residents. It is something that we have to address.”


Push to ban rent control measures in Florida gains traction

January 26, 2023 | WFTV

Florida Senate president Kathleen Passidomo proposed that ban for this year’s legislative session. She announced the proposal as Orange County fights for its own rent control measure. In August, county leaders voted to put that measure on the November ballot. But in October, an appeals court blocked it, saying it didn’t illustrate an “existing housing emergency.” Last month, the county decided to take the issue to the Florida Supreme Court.


Florida Senate wants to improve workforce housing but not through local rent controls

January 26, 2023 | Bradenton Herald

In a top priority of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a proposal filed Thursday seeks to address housing affordability and make it possible for workers to live near where they are employed. The wide-ranging proposal (SB 102), dubbed the “Live Local Act,” includes providing incentives for private investment in affordable housing, offering flexible housing regulations that encourage mixed-use development in struggling commercial areas and preventing local rent controls.


Legislation on affordable housing now filed at the state capitol for the upcoming session

January 26, 2023 | WCJB

State lawmakers want to offset rising real estate and rental costs, while making it possible for professional workers to live where they are employed. The wide-ranging housing proposal seeks to incentivize private sector investment into affordable housing. Minimize sprawl by offering flexible regulations that encourage mixed-used development and encourage homeownership and affordable rental options. Senate President Kathleen Passidomo says her goal is to change the perception of workforce housing, which often draws opposition within local communities.


Key takeaways from Miami-Dade Mayor’s ‘State of the County’ speech

January 26, 2023 | WLRN

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava unveiled her plans for 2023 on Wednesday night in her “State of the County” speech, focusing her goals on curbing gun violence, improving public transportation, boosting the affordable housing supply and creating a $9 million fund to get the private sector to help solve pressing community issues. Levine Cava delivered her State of the County speech at Tropical Park, taking note that the COVID-19 pandemic still looms over one of nation’s biggest counties.


Senate President Kathleen Passidomo unveils affordable housing package

January 26, 2023 | Florida Politics

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo is releasing details about legislation to provide more affordable housing to residents, her top priority heading into the 60-day Regular Session. Skyrocketing rent and home prices have plagued cities throughout Florida in recent years, as its tourism-heavy economy relies on hospitality workers who often struggle to keep up as people from other states flock to the Sunshine State and housing supply doesn’t meet the demand. Rampant inflation in the past year has exacerbated the problem, as has Hurricane Ian, which battered the Naples Republican’s hometown.


Florida Senate proposal seeks to address workforce housing

January 26, 2023 | Tampa Bay Times

In a top priority of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a proposal filed Thursday seeks to address housing affordability and make it possible for workers to live near where they are employed. The wide-ranging proposal (SB 102), dubbed the Live Local Act, includes providing incentives for private investment in affordable housing, offering flexible housing regulations that encourage mixed-use development in struggling commercial areas and preventing local rent controls. Passidomo, R-Naples, told reporters that a goal is to change the perception of workforce housing, which often draws local opposition.


Mortgage rates continue on downward trend

January 26, 2023 | Fox 4 Now

The average rate for a 30-year mortgage in the U.S. is 6.13%, according to new figures released by Freddie Mac on Thursday. That’s the lowest it’s been since the week of Sept 15. 2022. “Mortgage rates continue to tick down and, as a result, home purchase demand is thawing from the months-long freeze that gripped the housing market,” Freddie Mac states. “Potential homebuyers remain sensitive to changes in mortgage rates, but ample demand remains, fueled by first-time homebuyers.”


Live Local Act aims to address Florida’s affordable housing crisis, ban rent control

January 26, 2023 | Spectrum News 13

Branded as a “comprehensive statewide workforce housing strategy,” the Live Local Act proposes multiple strategies to address Florida’s longstanding struggle to provide enough attainable housing for its growing population. Many Floridians are unable to afford to live in the area they work. Senator Alexis Calatayud (R-Miami) filed Senate Bill 102 on Thursday following a roundtable discussion by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) for members of the news media in Tallahassee. “The government is helping out here,” Passidomo told reporters Thursday at a roundtable briefing. “We’re providing incentives to businesses who are providing affordable housing. There’s a quid pro quo there. You’re gonna keep the rents low for 30 years [or so]… in return for us providing incentives. That’s the key.”


Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County and Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County Come Together to Form Habitat for Humanity of Greater Palm Beach County

January 26, 2023 | The Boca Raton Tribune

Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County and Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County are thrilled to announce that they have joined forces to form a new and consolidated affiliate, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Palm Beach County! This strategic collaboration brings together resources, skillsets, and strengths to serve the community better while remaining laser-focused on its mission. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Palm Beach County, dedicated to building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter, will be headquartered in Delray Beach and serve all of Palm Beach County.


No single solution to affordable housing problem

January 1, 2023 | News-Press

Safe, attainable, workforce housing. When I moved to Naples almost 43 years ago, the community was talking about the lack of housing for our workers. It was a problem then, and remains a persistent problem today in many areas of our state. In my experience, all too often the issue of “affordable housing” is stereotyped as a challenge for those living at the lowest income levels, with solutions that look like the dangerous, crime-ridden, big city public housing projects we see in television shows set in New York or Los Angeles, circa 1980.