Gov. Ron DeSantis signs legislation to prohibit unfunded inclusionary zoning mandates

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July 1, 2019

 

Gov. Ron DeSantis signs legislation to prohibit unfunded inclusionary zoning mandates

HB 7103 eliminates ineffective inclusionary zoning mandates

 

Tallahassee — July 1, 2019 — Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation into law that addresses unfunded inclusionary zoning mandates.  Under the legislation, local governments may have an inclusionary zoning mandate but in exchange, must provide incentives to fully offset all of the developer’s costs for his or her affordable housing contribution.

Some Florida municipalities have enacted inclusionary zoning policies with the goal of producing more affordable housing, but they haven’t lived up to the promise of reducing the cost of housing for Florida’s most vulnerable individuals. The new legislation signed by DeSantis on Friday, June 28, encourages local governments to pursue market-based incentives to stimulate affordable housing development.

“The new law will require local governments to have some skin in the game and perhaps most importantly, it will foster collaboration with housing developers to increase the amount of affordable housing across the state,” said Amanda Gill, government affairs director for the Florida Apartment Association, a statewide trade association for the multifamily rental housing industry.

Mandatory inclusionary zoning policies typically require a specific proportion of new apartment homes developed within a municipality’s jurisdiction to be deemed “affordable housing.” These affordable apartment homes are required to be rented for a below-market rate to individuals who qualify for income-based housing assistance.

HB 7103, sponsored by Rep. Jason Fischer, passed the House on April 25 by a 72 to 37 vote and was amended and passed by the Senate on May 3. The legislation will go into effect July 1.

Outside of tax abatement or other value preservation ideas, requiring governments to offset the cost is the only way inclusionary zoning policies would work, said Justin Sand, president and chief operating officer of Epoch Residential. “Otherwise, the opportunity cost of inclusionary zoning would theoretically be passed on to the non-affordable renter which wouldn’t hold up in a competitive market and goes against the goal of easing the rent burden on consumers. Developers can’t absorb the costs because the margins become insufficient, driving capital to more attractive alternatives. This has the unintended consequence of reducing the overall supply of housing which will only create a worse affordable housing problem over the long term. In high-growth states like Florida, we’re not building enough housing units of any kind now.

The apartment industry acknowledges the rising demand for affordable housing and seeks to continue to work collaboratively with local governments to address this issue with more effective solutions. Voluntary incentive programs that stimulate the construction of affordable housing are one of the many ways local governments can partner with housing developers to confront Florida’s housing shortage and affordability crisis.

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The Florida Apartment Association represents and advocates for the interests of the Florida multifamily rental housing industry. Since 1971, FAA has worked to ensure high property management standards and resident satisfaction and safety in Florida. FAA represents more than three-quarters (80%) of apartment homes in Florida — more than 700,000 units — and nearly three-quarters (74%) of all apartment communities in Florida.

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For more information, press only:

Laureen Crowley

Director of Communications

407-960-2910

Laureen@faahq.org

 

For more information on FAA:

faahq.org

 

For more information on HB 7103:

HB 7103