On Tuesday, June 29, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the State budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021, authorizing spending of $92.2 billion. With line-item vetoes totaling slightly more than $1 billion. The governor made the cuts to the state budget, including reductions in affordable housing funds, in response to growing concerns related to COVID-19 and declining state tax revenue.
Originally, the budget included full funding of the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The $370 million in funding included:
- Affordable Housing Programs (like SAIL): $115 million (governor reduced SAIL by $250,000)
- SHIP: $225 million (governor cut this line)
- Hurricane Housing Recovery: $30 million
The budget signed by the governor eliminated the $225 million for State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP), which provides funds to local governments to create partnerships that produce and preserve affordable home ownership and multifamily housing units. In addition, the governor cut $250,000 from the State Apartment Incentive Loan program (SAIL), which provides low-interest loans on a competitive basis to affordable housing developers each year.
Although these cuts are disappointing, the governor noted that the state just recently allocated $250 million in CARES Act funds for the Affordable Housing Coronavirus Relief Initiative:
- $120 million for rental assistance for FHFC properties
- $120 million for counties to be used for rent/mortgage relief
- $10 million for program administration
FAA SUPPORTED LEGISLATION (HB 469) SIGNED INTO LAW
Also signed into law by Governor DeSantis on June 27 was HB 469 (Rep. Duggan, R-Jacksonville). This new law removes the subscribing witness requirement for leases that exceed one year. FAA supported the passage of this legislation during the 2020 session because this witness requirement can be problematic for leases that are signed or renewed electronically. The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2020.