At the City of Miramar Commission meeting, Tuesday, February 13, 2018, a resolution to formally document support for a full appropriation of State and Local Housing Trust Funds was approved. This Resolution will also be utilized to urge the Florida Legislature and Governor to fully appropriate those funds accordingly.
The Miramar City Commission efforts to do so consider the understanding that a diversity of housing options, along with income ranges; are an essential component of economic development and new job creation. However, rising property values, low wages, and high transportation costs are pricing new workers and businesses out of Southeast Florida; exacerbating existing housing crisis. High housing costs mean that households have less money for nutritious food and healthcare, education, transportation, family emergencies, dependent care, and other necessities. These gaps can lead to homelessness, stress, depression, and economic family insecurity.
The South Florida rental affordability crisis was found to be the worst in the nation according to the State of the Nation’s Housing Report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Affordable housing in our climate impacts options for the elderly, young families with children, and essential workers inclusive of firefighters, police officers, teachers, and others that drive the region’s service and professional economy.
The Governor and Legislature provided full funding from the Housing Trust Funds every year from Fiscal Year 1992-1993 through Fiscal Year 2002-2003. However, since that time, the Legislature has failed to appropriate all the housing trust fund monies for housing. The William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act of 1992 (“Sadowski Act”) was established as a means to deliberately use the documentary stamp tax as a revenue source. Its’ nexus to the development of housing, establishes a means to keep pace with escalating land and housing costs. This has provided a source for much needed revenues for State and Local Housing Trust Funds.
The documentary stamp tax is currently projected to generate over $314 million for State and Local Housing Trust Funds in Fiscal Year 2018-2019. The full appropriation of the State and Local Housing Trust Funds would create approximately 30,000 jobs and $4 billion dollars of positive economic benefit for Florida. However, over the past 11 years, the Florida Legislature has diverted more than $1.3 billion for affordable housing from state and local housing programs to other programs.
The City Commission finds it to be in the best interest of the City and its residents to urge the Florida Legislature and Governor to fully appropriate and fund State and Local Housing Trust dollars towards affordable housing.