ISSUE: Florida is tied with California for the highest percentage of people devoting at least 50% of their income to housing. People of color bear the greatest burden of this trend. Florida has an affordable housing crisis.
The hundreds of millions of dollars available each year to finance state-wide affordable housing (on deposit in the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund) have been used entirely for other purposes in 12 of the past 13 years by the Republican-controlled State Legislature.
Now Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls, both Republicans, want to permanently divert most of this money to other purposes (Committee Bill PCB ANR 21-01). Under their plan, only one-third of the funds that now go to the Sadowski Fund would be available for affordable housing, with the rest going to environmental and flooding projects and wastewater programs.
Democratic Representative Omari Hardy says the result will be like the Hunger Games - pitting people against each other for resources. Critics of the proposal include the Florida Realtors Association and the Florida Housing Coalition.
Florida will receive a windfall of more than $10 billion in Federal stimulus funds, which can be used for the non-housing items proposed to be financed with monies taken from the Sadowski Fund.
SCRIPT: My name is xxx and my zip code is xxx. I am a proud member of Palm Beach Indivisibles. I object to any plan to permanently divert State funds available to fund affordable housing for other uses. I demand that you stand up for the citizens of this State and alleviate Florida’s affordable housing crisis. It is unconscionable, particularly during a pandemic, to take away monies that could help the most vulnerable among us. Florida will receive billions in stimulus funds that can be used for other programs. Leave affordable housing funds alone!
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