Senate passes ‘Live Local Act’ in hopes of bringing affordable housing to Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – State legislatures are making a push to bring more affordable housing to the booming Florida market.

The Florida Senate passed Friday the Live Local Act, which is an $700 million effort to build more affordable housing in cities such as Jacksonville, where local realtors have said a lot of buyers can’t afford homes.

Emiliya Mustafaeva said she has to encourage more buyers to consider more rural and affordable areas such as Baker County because of the prices of homes in larger cities.

“I had a closing three days ago. I was a listing agent, and we had difficulty selling the property. When we finally got an offer, the buyer was asking for 4% toward the closing costs,” Mustafaeva said.

Mustafaeva said realtors expected prices to decrease but it hasn’t and people still need homes that they can’t afford.

The Live Local Act will incentivize developers to invest in more affordable housing and development areas that are economically struggling.

“As our state continues to grow, we need to make sure that Floridians can live close to good jobs, schools and hospitals,” said Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera, who co-sponsored the bill.

This is an issue that is critical in the race for Jacksonville’s next mayor.

“We should take action immediately and make workforce housing part of the capital improvement program in Jacksonville, Florida. We should do a survey of city-owned properties and independent authority on properties and make sure that we can make the finance stack work for developers where they can come in and preserve workforce housing,” Republican mayoral candidate Daniel Davis said.

“I think there’s no question that it’s one of the No. 1 issues and we need to do more to tackle that. I think there’s a lot of things we can do, I think we first of all need to look at all these vacant properties we have all over the city and see what we can do with that, see if we can have nonprofits and more affordable housing in some of those vacant lot areas,” Democratic candidate Donna Deegan said.

One huge source of contention in the bill is that it prohibits rent controls. The bill is moving to Gov. Ron DeSantis to for approval. Legislators said it will take awhile before residents start to see the affects of the bill if passed.

About the Author:

Scott is a multi-Emmy Award Winning Anchor and Reporter, who also hosts the “Going Ringside With The Local Station” Podcast. Scott has been a journalist for 25 years, covering stories including six presidential elections, multiple space shuttle launches and dozens of high-profile murder trials.