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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Mar. 17, 202009:30 AM EST

Florida Legislature passes affordable housing bill

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Allows local governments to approve residences in residential, commercial and industrial zoning.
by: Scott Sailer Staff Writer

Florida lawmakers ended the 2020 legislative session by approving House Bill 1339 that authorizes local governments to approve affordable housing on any land zoned for residential, commercial or industrial use.

Gov. Ron DeSantis would need to sign or veto the bill. Lawmakers could vote to override the veto.

The bill introduced by Republican Rep. Clay Yarborough, whose District 12 covers a portion of Jacksonville, passed the Senate on March 11 by a vote of 39-0 and passed the House 101-19 on March 13.

Other provisions in the bill address affordable housing and update provisions relating to mobile home parks and tenants. The bill:

• Authorizes local governments to adopt an ordinance allowing accessory dwellings in areas zoned for single-family use. Areas of “critical state concern” are exempt. Accessory dwellings must be rented to an extremely low-income, very low-income, low-income or moderate-income persons at an affordable rate. There are no areas in of critical state concern in Northeast Florida, 

• Modifies the definition of affordable housing to include not-for-profit corporations that provide low-income and other health-related community support housing.

• Allows the Florida Housing Finance Corp. to hold back up to 5% of Local Government Trust Fund money for transitional housing construction for people leaving foster care because they reached the maximum age.

• Requires local governments to report impact fee data to the Florida Department of Financial Services that include the specific purpose of the fees, policies, calculation method and the amount assessed by dwelling type.

• Adds other reporting requirements for participants in the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program.

• Establishes biannual regional training workshops for local officials on affordable housing advisory committees to share best practices.

• Limits building officials to auditing private inspectors four times a month.

• Revises mobile home requirements to compel mobile home parks that add 15% more lots to provide additional amenities and other improvements; allows dispute arbitration; revises repair standards for damage by a natural disaster; and amends mobile homeowner association bylaws, powers and notifications.

Unless vetoed by DeSantis, the act takes effect July 1.

Related Senate Bill 998 did not pass. It was introduced by District 7 Republican Sen. Travis Hutson to address affordable housing to be allowed in similar zoned properties and other elements.

 

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