Tracking Florida’s $700 million affordable housing budget

By Housing Nonprofit

Here is how Florida Governor Ron DeSantis allocated $711 million for affordable housing in 2023.

FHA serves mostly first-time homebuyers, with the share of FHA mortgages to such borrowers far exceeding any other market participant share.

Just at the close of 2023 the Florida Housing Finance Corporation issued a summary of its affordable housing efforts for the year under leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis partners in the Florida Legislature, and the Florida Housing Board of Directors.

This year represented the largest investment for housing efforts in state history with the passage of Senate Bill 102, the Live Local Act, led by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo. This bill aims to help Florida families live in the communities where they work by investing in programs that expand housing availability, down payment assistance, and a variety of other new and innovative opportunities.

Florida Housing allocations overview:

$259 million for the SAIL program to provide low interest loans to developers building workforce housing. This includes $150 million for the Live Local SAIL program, which is dedicated to financing innovative approaches to building affordable rental units for Florida’s workforce and military communities.

The Live Local Act also bolstered the Hometown Heroes program by increasing the borrowing limit per loan to $35,000 or 5% of the total loan amount.

$252 million for the SHIP program to provide local governments with incentives to build partnerships with developers who are preserving available housing or producing more housing.

$100 million for the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time home buyers employed full-time with a Florida-based employer.

$100 million for Florida Housing to implement the Viability Loan Program to alleviate inflation-related cost increases for already approved housing projects.

$25 million in disaster recovery to Florida Housing to assist families in counties impacted by Hurricane Idalia through the Hurricane Housing Recovery Program (HHRP). These funds will go towards helping families with hurricane recovery purposes that include, but are not limited to, repair and replacement of housing; acquisition of building materials for home repair and construction; payment of insurance deductibles for storm-related damages, and housing reentry assistance such as security deposits, utility deposits, and temporary storage of household items. Funds were available beginning November 28 through local SHIP offices.

Homeownership Accomplishments:

Assisted 12,991 families in purchasing their first home through Florida Housing’s Homebuyer Loan Program by providing more than $3.7 billion in first mortgage assistance (the highest amount in program history), and more than $185 million in total down payment and closing cost assistance.

Completed the last Hometown Heroes Housing Program 1.0 loan on November 3 to help eligible frontline community workers such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, and active military or veterans purchase a home in Florida.

Launched the Hometown Heroes Housing Program 2.0 with an additional $100 million on July 3, with expanded eligibility to include any first-time homebuyers employed full-time by a Florida-based employer who were seeking to purchase a primary residence in Florida. These funds were fully committed on August 22.

In 2023, the Hometown Heroes programs provided a total of 10,581 homeowners with more than $3.1 billion in first mortgage volume, supported by $161 million of down payment and closing cost assistance.

On November 6, 2023, Florida Housing’s Board added an additional $36 million of assistance to the Hometown Heroes program. The funds were completely committed on December 14 and will assist over 2400 first-time homebuyers purchase a home.

The HOME program, which provides non-amortizing, low-interest rate loans to developers of affordable housing, provided more than $19.7 million in HOME loans to finance the construction of 88 affordable units for Florida families. The HOME-ARP program was announced in 2022 and provides funding to reduce homelessness and increase housing stability. From Florida Housing’s HOME-ARP allocation, $4,728,600 was made available for 18 units.

In partnership with the Department of Commerce’s Rebuild Florida program, Florida Housing closed on four Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) loans, providing $30,513,857 in funds for a total of 328 units.

The Homeownership Pool (HOP) Program assists developers by matching qualified homebuyers with down payment assistance on a first-come, first-served basis. This year 124 borrowers have participated with a total of $3,369,500 in down payment assistance provided.

Multifamily/Rental Housing Development:

Awarded 72 Developments, totaling 6,892 units through the following Florida Housing administered loans/bonds/grants and housing credit allocations:

$134,980,154 in 9% Housing Credits

$177,866,708 in State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) funding

$87,201,000 in Rental Recovery Loan Program funding

$37,371,320 in HOME funding

$5,324,200 in Grant funding

$41,067,958 in National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) and HOME-ARP funding
A portion of these developments were also financed through Multifamily Mortgage Revenue Bonds (MMRB) totaling $206,100,000 and an estimated $55,542,821 in 4% Housing Credits.

Awarded 37 Developments, totaling 7,320 units including the following Florida Housing administered bonds and housing credit allocations:

$48,000,000 in MMRB funding
An estimated $95,881,469 in 4% Housing Credits

Assisted 31 Developments, 3,702 units, through the Viability Loan Program authorized by the Live Local Act, for a total of $121,654,617 in loan funding.

Launched the new Live Local Program Tax Credit on October 1, giving businesses the opportunity to contribute to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to benefit the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) Program, which provides low-interest loans for the development of quality affordable housing. In return, these businesses receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit reduction. To date, this program has received $1,450,000 in contributions, with an additional $53,750,000 in tax credit reservations.