2018 Legislative Session Week 5 Update

Posted By: Courtney Barnard Advocacy News ,

Friday, February 16, marks the end of the fifth week of legislative session. Here is an update of what happened in Tallahassee since our last update:

HB 529 (Doorstep Trash Collection): FAA priority bill SB 746, filed by Sen. Aaron Bean (FL-4, R), passed the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on February 8. The bill is expected to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee as early as February 22. Once the bill passes its final committee, it will be voted on by the Senate and then either the House or Senate draft of the bill will be adopted and sent to the Governor for final signature.

HB 529 / SB 746 impact the doorstep waste collection industry and clarify the legality of the trash collection services across Florida. The Florida Fire Prevention Code is ambiguous with regard to allowing trash containers to be placed temporarily in hallways and breezeways. The Florida Apartment Association, in conjunction with the doorstep waste collection industry, is seeking clarification of the code so business operations can continue normally.

The doorstep waste removal industry is made up of several independent businesses that provide more than 1,200 jobs across Florida and generate an economic impact of more than $68 million annually. Halting doorstep trash collection services would eliminate jobs and disrupt a valuable apartment service. Doorstep trash collection service is allowed across the United States and clarity in the Florida Fire Prevention Code will allow the industry to continue to do business.

Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund: The House and Senate released budget numbers for the 2018 Session: The Senate has chosen to fully fund affordable housing and allocate $120 million to affordable housing projects and the House has cut funds to $74 Million. The two chambers must come to a budget agreement by the end of session.

For further information on the 2018 budget breakdowns, please see the linked sheet highlighting funds that would go to apartments. Funds are color-coded as follows: yellow for hurricane relief, red for general use, green for workforce housing, and blue for homelessness housing.

The Sadowski Act passed in 1992 created a dedicated revenue source to fund Florida’s affordable housing programs. Affordable housing helps to house Florida’s most vulnerable populations, including veterans, the elderly, those experiencing homelessness, and persons with special needs. The housing trust fund is funded by document stamp taxes paid on all real estate transactions.

There are simply not enough apartment homes in Florida. Sadowski funds help to balance the high demand for new affordable units across the state by aiding in the construction and refurbishment of affordable properties. More than 911,000 Floridians spend at least 50 percent of their income on housing, and the National Apartment Association estimates Florida will need an additional 669,000 apartment homes by 2030 to meet Florida’s housing demand.  

FAA will continue to monitor legislation and advocate for our industry throughout the legislative session; if you have any questions or concerns, please email Courtney@faahq.org. For an in-depth update from FAA government affairs director Courtney Barnard, please listen to the 2018 mid- session update call here.