Live Local Act Amendments Set to Boost Workforce Housing in South Florida

Live Local Act Amendments Set to Boost Workforce Housing in South Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis has signed amendments to the Live Local Act into law, aiming to address South Florida’s affordable housing crisis. This legislation, particularly significant in light of the pandemic-induced surge in rents and housing prices, introduces new incentives for developers to create more workforce housing units.

  • Pinnacle 441 Demand Highlights Housing Crisis
    • A “coming soon” sign for Pinnacle 441, an affordable housing project in Hollywood, drew over 21,000 applications for just 113 units, illustrating the severe shortage of affordable housing in the region.
  • Live Local Act Overview
    • The Live Local Act, enacted last year, allocated over $700 million in funding and provided tax and zoning incentives for developers who allocate units for residents earning up to 120 percent of the area median income (AMI).
  • Amendments to the Act
    • The recent amendments include property tax exemptions of up to 75 percent for mixed-income projects and up to 100 percent for fully workforce housing projects. Additionally, developers can increase floor area ratios and reduce parking requirements for projects near major transportation hubs.
  • Developer Reactions and Plans
    • Developers are analyzing the new amendments to determine their feasibility. Some, like Pinnacle, plan to use the tax incentives and increased density allowances to make market-rate deals work for the “missing middle” income bracket.
  • Impact on the Market
    • The amendments could potentially lead to the construction of hundreds or thousands of new workforce housing units, alleviating some of the housing pressures in South Florida. However, the higher cost of land in urban and waterfront areas might limit the effectiveness of these incentives.
  • Live Local in Action
    • Developers such as Asi Cymbal are already leveraging the property tax benefits for projects like Laguna Gardens in Miami Gardens, ensuring lower rents for residents. Similar strategies are being considered by developers in other areas like Fort Lauderdale and Wynwood.

The Live Local Act amendments are poised to significantly impact the availability of workforce housing in South Florida. By offering substantial tax incentives and zoning flexibility, the legislation encourages developers to create more affordable units, addressing the acute housing shortage in the region. As these changes take effect, they are expected to provide much-needed relief for many residents struggling to find affordable housing.

Source: Katherine Kallergis, The Real Deal

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