More Floridians will have access to affordable housing thanks to advocacy by Florida Realtors® and REALTORS® throughout the state. Florida lawmakers approved $362 million that will help advance homeownership and other related housing programs.
This amount includes an astounding $100 million for the Hometown Hero Housing Program, a revolving loan program that provides a new avenue of down payment and closing cost assistance for hometown heroes, such as firefighters, law enforcement officers, teachers and nurses.
Hometown Heroes also will be able to save hundreds of dollars each year by taking advantage of an additional homestead tax exemption if voters approve the measure during the 2022 general election.
These homeownership-related wins are in addition to numerous other laws passed by lawmakers during the annual 60-day session that will impact REALTORS® and their businesses. Bills passed head to the governor for final approval.
Greater Tampa REALTORS® played a significant role in advancing these measures, through ongoing advocacy, support of the REALTOR® Party, and its participation in the Greater American REALTOR® Days in which members met with area representatives over the course of three days in February.
Other successful measures supported by REALTORS® include zoning flexibility for affordable housing, increased apartment safety measures, defense of private property rights, support for the Everglades and water quality as well as creation of a statewide Office of Resilience to address flooding and sea-level rise. Florida Realtors® has details about these and much more in its 2022 Legislative Final Report.
In disappointing news, however, state lawmakers failed to take action on insurance reform. Senate Bill 1728 contained provisions that would have addressed roof-related insurance scams that drive up property insurance costs in Florida. It also would have authorized surplus line insurers to participate in Citizens’ depopulation, and provided guidelines if Citizens assumes a policy from an unsound insurer.
Overall however, “this was a tremendously successful legislative session,” said Christian Pappas, 2022 Florida Realtors® President. “I can’t thank all of you enough for lending your voice and your time to advocate on behalf of the REALTOR® profession.”