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Florida First Time Home Buyer Program

After reviewing the provided information on Senate Bill 102 (SB 102), which is titled "Workforce Housing Tax Credit," and combining it with the information on House Bill 31 (HB 31), we summarized what these bills mean for Florida homebuyers, specifically those seeking affordable housing options.

The combination of HB 31 and SB 102 aims to address the affordable housing crisis in Florida by introducing new incentives, modifying existing programs, and improving the allocation of resources for affordable housing development. For Florida homebuyers, particularly those seeking affordable housing options, these bills may lead to an increased availability of affordable homes and rental units, as well as more public-private partnerships that support workforce housing development.

According to the amendment, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) will provide up to $35,000 as a grant for down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers. The bill states that the grant will be offered as a 0% interest, non-amortizing, forgivable second mortgage loan with a 10-year term.

To be eligible for the $35,000 grant, a homebuyer must meet the following criteria:

Be a first-time homebuyer.  Have a household income that does not exceed 120% of the area median income (AMI) adjusted for family size.

Complete an approved homebuyer education program.  Purchase a new or existing single-family home or a newly constructed workforce housing unit.  The combination of this grant provided in SB 102 and the provisions in HB 31 would offer additional financial assistance to first-time homebuyers in Florida, making it easier for them to purchase affordable housing.

Below is a breakdown of each Bill

Senate Bill 102: SB 102 introduces the Workforce Housing Tax Credit program, which aims to incentivize private investment in the development of affordable housing for Florida's workforce.

Key components of SB 102 include: Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program: The bill establishes a state tax credit program to incentivize private investment in the construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing for Florida's workforce. The program would provide tax credits to eligible investors who contribute to qualified workforce housing projects.

Allocation of Tax Credits: The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) would be responsible for allocating the tax credits to eligible projects. The bill sets the annual cap for tax credits at $50 million for the fiscal years 2023-2024 and 2024-2025.

Eligibility Criteria: The bill defines the eligibility criteria for workforce housing projects, which include requirements related to the area median income (AMI) of residents, location, unit mix, and other factors.

House Bill 31: As previously discussed, HB 31 amends several existing programs, funding mechanisms, and reporting requirements related to affordable housing in Florida.

Some key components that may impact homebuyers include:

Sadowski Affordable Housing Act: The bill modifies the distribution of funds within the Local Government Housing Trust Fund and the State Housing Trust Fund to better allocate resources for affordable housing initiatives.

Community Workforce Housing Innovation Pilot Program: The bill amends this existing program to provide additional incentives for public-private partnerships that develop workforce housing and expands the definition of "essential services personnel" to include more occupations.

State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) Program: The bill expands the eligible uses of funds in the SAIL program, which provides low-interest loans to developers for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing.