BACKGROUND: The Sadowski Act of 1992 helps some of our most vulnerable Floridians by providing affordable housing assistance. Through documentary stamps on real estate transactions, this act provides funding for construction and rehabilitation of affordable ownership housing, down payment assistance, and limited rental development to assist the disabled, elderly, veterans, and others in need of housing assistance. Additionally, affordable housing construction and rehabilitation stimulates local economies and creates jobs. A fully funded trust fund would create about 25,000 jobs and spur $3 billion in new economic activity next year.
As a result of past budget deficits, the Florida legislature has swept over $1 billion of the housing trust funds since 2002 for use as general revenue, and these monies are now facing another possible setback.
In November 2014, Florida voters approved an amendment to the state constitution which requires one third of documentary stamp revenue to be spent on a variety of environmental programs and initiatives. Current proposals to implement this constitutional mandate potentially jeopardize funds available for affordable housing.
The Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation has been tasked with drafting legislation to implement this new amendment and is currently taking public comment.
ACTION: Please submit a comment to the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee urging them not to hurt funding for affordable housing while implementing the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1 on the November 2014 ballot).
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