Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis approved the “Live Local Act” Wednesday, which in part allocates $100 million to help teachers, healthcare workers and police officers buy homes.
Senate Bill 102, called the “Live Local Act,” will appropriate a total of $711 million in an effort to make housing more affordable for working Floridians. The bill provides incentives for private investment in affordable housing and bans local rent controls, News4Jax reported.
“Being able to have folks who are teachers, police officers, firefighters, all these important things — you can’t do it if they have to drive an hour, an hour-and-a-half just to get to work every day. I mean, we want people to be able to live in the community where they’re working,” DeSantis said during a news conference in Naples. (RELATED: Fox Panel On Trump/DeSantis Devolves Into Feisty Shouting Match)
Gov. DeSantis Signs Historic Housing Legislation https://t.co/3zG1nKHQ6p
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 29, 2023
The bill provides money for multiple housing programs, including $100 million for the Hometown Heroes program to help teachers, healthcare workers and police officers; $252 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program and $150 million a year for the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) program.
“The success of Florida under Governor DeSantis has encouraged record numbers of Americans to come to Florida to visit, live and work. With today’s bill signing, Governor DeSantis is working proactively to counteract the effects of high demand and Biden’s inflation through a myriad of smart affordable housing initiatives,” DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin told the Daily Caller.
The Hometown Heroes housing assistance program launched in June 2022 to assist Florida frontline workers with down payment and closing cost assistance for their first homes. The “Live Local Act” renews the $100 million for another year.
“Of the 100 million last year, the vast majority has been obligated. I think it’s about $72 million, and I think that this is something that has been very popular with military veterans in particular and also popular with police officers,” DeSantis added.
Under the bill, developments built in the past five years that include at least 70 affordable housing units for low and middle-income families will be exempt from property taxes. Another provision allows owners who allocate units for those earning 50% or less of the area median income to be exempt from property taxes, the Commercial Observer reported.
“Floridians are ready to live local and to spend less time commuting and more time raising their families in the heart of the communities they serve,” Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, who spearheaded the bill, said in a statement, according to the Observer.
Daily Caller chief national correspondent Henry Rodgers contributed to this report.