Thursday, March 27, 2008

Affordable Housing Day

Yesterday was affordable housing day at the state capital in Tallahassee - During the 60 day legislative session, every day is a special "something" day - not only do most cities and counties get a "day," but professions, organizations, causes all get a day too - yesterday it was affordable housing.

Now we all know the state is in an economic slump - in fact, they are in an almost $3.5 billion slump. Due to financial uncertainties, it is becoming more and more difficult for working families to purchase a home. Cities have been doing all we can. In Miami, we have invested more than $742 million toward affordable housing projects, using city resources to leverage funds from private developers and we plan to invest $1 billion by 2010.

There is a fund at the state called the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund where millions of dollars from doc. stamp revenues are collected and meant to be spent on housing.

But instead of spending the whole thing on housing, state leaders raid the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund, diverting money meant to provide houses for Florida’s families - They then use the money for other things. It's sort of like if you have an account and you set aside money for one thing, but then someone comes and spends it on something else.

According to the Florida Housing Coalition, funding at the ten-year average uncapped amount of $580 million compared to the $243 million cap each year will produce 11,184 more housing units, $1.77 billion more economic activity, $693 million of additional income, 18,114 more jobs, and $16.8 million more sales tax revenue. Just imagine the economic stimulus this can cause!

There are bills in the house and senate to "Scrap the Cap" as we call it and to allow ALL the money to go toward housing, like it's supposed to, and we continue to fully support these efforts.

Lastly, Bill Sadowski was a great Floridian, a personal friend and mentor. All we ask is that our legislative leaders do justice to his memory, honor to his legacy, and take the necessary steps toward honoring their commitment to the millions of Floridians who need our help in achieving the American Dream of home ownership