Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed into law affordable housing legislation that includes $711 million for housing programs and tax breaks for developers.
The law supersedes local governments’ zoning, density, and height requirements for affordable housing in areas zoned for commercial or mixed-use development. It also strips local municipalities’ ability to enact rent control, which had only been possible during a housing emergency.
Local governments must allow multifamily or mixed-use residential projects that set aside at least 40% of the residential component for affordable housing for at least 30 years. Counties are not allowed to restrict the height of a proposed development below what’s currently allowed within one mile of the planned project if the project sets aside at least 65% of the square footage for residential purposes.
Developers of affordable housing and some with mixed-use projects in mind are expected to create more housing as a result of the new law. South Florida became one of the least affordable housing markets in the country last year, following rent increases during the pandemic.