TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Feb. 1, 2019 – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed his $91.3 billion budget on Friday and wants all doc stamp money rolled into the State and Local Government Housing Trust Funds to be used for affordable housing – a move strongly backed by Florida Realtors in an earlier meeting with the governor's staff.
Florida Realtors considers full funding a top legislative priority. These trust funds are needed to address Florida's affordable housing crisis.
For the past several years, however, some of the housing trust fund money has been used for other purposes.
As advocates for affordable housing, Florida Realtors recently met with top officials in the governor's office to discuss the housing trust funds and the need to use it for state and local housing programs. Florida Realtors is a leading member of the Florida Housing Coalition, a nonpartisan collection of 30 diverse statewide organizations.
"Florida Realtors met with the governor's chief of staff and legislative affairs director to ask that his upcoming budget recommendations include full funding from the trust funds for affordable housing programs," says 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain. "Our representatives left the meeting very encouraged by the feedback they received from the governor's staff, and we're grateful that full funding made it into Gov. DeSantis' final budget proposal."
The governor's annual proposed budget is released each year prior to the start of the Florida legislative session. While the Florida Legislature isn't required to follow the governor's recommendations, the budget serves as a framework lawmakers can use to develop and pass a budget that the governor will sign.
In addition to full funding for the affordable housing trust funds, DeSantis' budget focuses on improvements to the state's aging transportation infrastructure and additional funding for the Everglades and other water-quality issues.