Affordable housing programs received a significant boost in Florida’s record $79 billion budget passed this afternoon, says Jaimie Ross of the Sadowski Housing Coalition.
In a statement issued soon after the House approved the General Appropriations Act of 2015-16, Ross, who serves as organizer of the Sadowski Coalition and president of the Florida Housing Coalition, celebrated the $175 million from Florida’s housing trust funds toward housing.
The House passed a last-minute spending plan 96-17 at about 6 p.m., a half-hour after the Senate vote, ending the often contentious 20-day special session.
Proposed funding in the 2015-2016 budget represents approximately 68 percent of the total $256 million available from the Sadowski Trust Fund, Ross noted. The budget also includes $8.3 million for homeless and other housing projects.
“On behalf of the Sadowski Coalition,” Ross’ statement said, “I applaud the Florida Legislature for passing a state budget that appropriates $175 million from Florida’s housing trust funds to be used for Florida’s excellent housing programs, and for also including $8.3 million for homeless and other housing projects. Further, I thank both Senate and House leadership for their support of affordable housing this legislative session.
“As rent and home prices are rising, this allocation to affordable housing comes at an important time, as it will help Florida’s seniors, veterans, those with special needs and hardworking families who find themselves having to pay more than 50 percent of their incomes on housing.
“We look forward to working with both the Senate and House toward fully funding affordable housing next legislative session.”
After signed by Gov. Rick Scott – with line-item vetoes widely expected by many – the budget will go into effect July 1.