2015 Legislative Session Update: Week Three

2015 Session Updates ,

We just finished the third week of legislative session and FAA can already claim two legislative victories! There was not much movement of FAA’s other legislative priorities, however it was a very successful week for the multifamily industry. Here is an update of our legislative progress in Tallahassee this past week.

Affordable Housing: Senate Bill 586 has been amended to protect all affordable housing monies! FAA and other Sadowski Coalition members have fought to keep these funds from be appropriated to restore The Everglades. This is a huge victory! Now FAA and other members of The Sadowski Coalition can focus on appropriations out of The Sadowski Trust Fund and into Florida’s housing programs. The battle to make sure all funds go toward housing is not over; however, we have made huge progress by keeping the funds from being swept for the next 25 years to pay for Everglades restoration.

How this affects you: When affordable housing is properly funded, it stimulates Florida’s economy, creating an extra $3 billion annual positive economic impact by creating jobs. Additionally, keeping affordable housing funded decreases the need for inclusionary zoning.

Legal Services: Potentially damaging language has been removed from House Bill 439 by Rep. Eric Eisnaugle; the bill would have changed the process for filing a fair housing complaint and would have allowed residents to seek litigation before using any administrative remedies. This bill would have put those who operate rental units in a place of greater liability and risk of being drawn into a civil suit regarding fair housing by negating administrative remedies.

How this affects you: Residents who claim a fair housing violation will need to go through all state administrative remedies before seeking litigation. These remedies help to protect residents and owners/managers by providing legal mediation for fair housing violation without excess litigation costs.