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Florida Lawmakers Place Limits on Affordable Housing Requirements. But Is It Enough?

Florida Lawmakers Place Limits on Affordable Housing Requirements. But Is It Enough?

Construction companies across the state secured a huge victory with the passing of H.B. 7103, a bill that restricts the ability of local governments to require builders to create a set number of affordable housing units. This is a necessary step towards unfettering construction companies and allowing them to tackle one of our state’s largest growing problems: Central and South Florida’s affordable housing crisis. However, as a lobbyist from Cotney Construction Lobbying discusses below, this may not be enough to curtail rising construction costs, and construction companies may need to go a step further to make their voices heard. 

An Industry Restricted by Red Tape 

Despite the obvious fact that placing additional burdens on the construction industry can only result in higher building costs and fewer affordable housing units, local governments continue in their attempts to yoke contractors into setting aside a percentage of units for low-income housing. With the passing of H.B. 7103, there are now state-wide restrictions on inclusionary zoning, requiring local governments to offset any costs incurred by developers with incentives, such as bonuses or reduced or waived fees, when affordable housing is contributed. Regardless of incentives, every construction project comes with its own set of risks, and you must do everything you can to safeguard your bottom line. 

What we’re trying to avoid in Florida is a situation akin to that in California, where rising construction costs have resulted in homes being built at a snail’s pace. As the Los Angeles Times reports, home builders pulling back from new construction is “the opposite of what economists say is needed to ease California’s housing affordability crisis.” As tenants struggle to afford rent and face homelessness, lawmakers need to unshackle construction companies instead of imposing limits that restrict them from keeping up with housing needs. 

House Bill 7103 Could Have Been Stronger

A previous version of this bill would have outright prohibited local governments from requiring affordable housing units; however, that version did not make it through the Senate. While the passing of this bill is a victory for all Florida contractors, it is only a single battle won in the ongoing struggle to protect the best interests of this industry. 

In order to further your cause and ensure that you are allowed to conduct your business as you see fit, you must have a direct line between yourself and Florida lawmakers. A lobbyist can be that direct line, voicing your concerns to those in power who can do the most good. For a team that is solely on the side of the construction industry, partner with the professionals at Cotney Construction Lobbying. 

If you would like to speak with a construction industry advocate from Cotney Construction Lobbying, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Cotney Construction Lobbying, LLC does not provide legal services and any statements made on this website are intended to apply only to non-legal, lobbying services.