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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jun. 10, 202010:20 AM EST

Gov. DeSantis signs affordable housing bill

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It allows local governments to approve residences in residential, commercial and industrial zoning beginning July 1.
by: Scott Sailer Staff Writer

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill June 9 that authorizes local governments to approve development of affordable housing on any land zoned for residential, commercial or industrial use.

House Bill 1339, introduced by Republican Rep. Clay Yarborough, whose District 12 covers a portion of Jacksonville, was approved 39-0 by the Florida Senate on March 11 and 101-19 by the House 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 extremely low-income, very low-income, low-income or moderate-income persons at an affordable rate. There are no areas of critical state concern in Northeast Florida.

• Authorizes private entities to enter into specified loan agreements by amending the Florida Interlocal Cooperation Act of 1969.

• 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.

The act takes effect July 1.

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