In a move to address Florida’s affordable housing shortage, Republican lawmakers are pushing for changes to the Live Local Act of 2023. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Alexis Calatayud, R-Miami, aims to tweak the Live Local Act, a mammoth $700 million legislation championed by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples. Calatayud emphasized that the amendments are necessary to fine-tune the implementation of the Act and bolster the availability of workforce housing across the state.
Florida Senate aims to help alleviate state's lack of housing for workforcehttps://t.co/npLTXswvib
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The proposed Senate Bill 328 would bar counties and municipalities from limiting the floor area ratio of certain proposed developments, while also empowering them to regulate the height of these developments. This shift is anticipated to cost taxpayers approximately $100 million. Moreover, the bill mandates that counties must allow multifamily and mixed-use residential units in commercial or mixed-use zoned areas, provided that 40% of the proposed rental developments (consisting of at least 70 units) are designated as affordable housing for a minimum of 30 years.
Additionally, the bill requires counties to reduce parking requirements for developments located within a quarter mile of a transit hub accessible by sidewalks, crosswalks, or bike paths. Calatayud underscored the importance of the proposed changes, stating that the feedback received during the implementation of the Live Local Act has highlighted the need for enhancements to truly achieve the Act’s original objectives and expand the inventory of workforce housing in a manner that caters to the diverse needs of communities across the state.
One of the key aspects of the bill is the clarification that non-restricted units in a development can be sold or leased, while units designated as affordable housing must be utilized as rentals exclusively. According to Calatayud, ensuring the availability of workforce housing not only contributes to the state’s economic stability but also holds significant implications for the quality of life for Florida’s workforce, particularly those seeking to establish their roots and raise their families within the communities they serve.
The urgency of addressing the affordable housing crisis in Florida cannot be understated, and with the proposed changes to the Live Local Act, Republican lawmakers are striving to streamline regulations and create opportunities for the expansion of affordable housing options throughout the state.