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Florida’s long struggle to fix the affordable housing crisis, explained
by Brian Burgess, The Capitolist
With more and more people flocking to Florida with each passing year, the Sunshine State’s success is also starting to cast some long, dark shadows that threaten to engulf hundreds of thousands of people who are steadily getting priced out of the state’s increasingly expensive housing market. The dream of living in a tropical paradise with a low cost of living is quickly fading as workers struggle to find affordable housing close to their workplaces while making ends meet in a nation where the cost of living continues to rise.
For many of Florida’s front-line hospitality workers, getting to work has become the hardest part of the job. Extended commutes are one of the biggest employee challenges in Florida’s tourism industry. Housing near key tourist attractions like Disney World or along Florida’s premier coastal vacation areas has gotten so expensive that restaurant and hotel workers can’t afford to be close to where they work.
Live Local Act Passes its first Senate Committee
Last week, Senate Bill 102, coined the “Live Local Act” and sponsored by Senator Alexis Calatayud (Miami-Dade), passed unanimously out of the Senate Community Affairs committee. The bill now heads to one more Senate committee (Appropriations) before it is likely to be heard on the Senate floor in the early days of the 2023 Regular Session.
The Live Local Act, which would provide a record amount of funding for our state’s Sadowski Trust Fund programs, establish new property tax incentives for affordable units, and substantially amend the state’s housing strategy, among other reforms, officially got its House counterpart last week with Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera (Miami-Dade) as the sponsor for House Bill 627. HB 627 is identical to SB 102 and has yet to receive its committee assignments as of this writing. We will continue to provide updates on the status of these two bills as they head towards passage.
For more information on the Live Local Act, see the Senate staff analysis or contact the Coalition’s Legal & Policy Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashon Nesbitt named new CEO of Florida Housing Coalition
Board Chooses Experienced Affordable Housing Expert to lead Statewide Organization
The Florida Housing Coalition, the state’s leading nonprofit provider of training and technical assistance dedicated to affordable housing, announced that Ashon Nesbitt has been named CEO effective January 1. Nesbitt succeeds Jaimie Ross, the Coalition’s long-time President and CEO, who announced her retirement last June.
After Ross announced her retirement, the Board engaged a CEO search consultant to conduct a national search for qualified candidates. Out of a pool of 300 applicants from across the country, six top candidates were interviewed, and the Board of the Coalition unanimously chose Mr. Nesbitt.
“Speaking on behalf of our entire board, I could not be more pleased that Ashon will be the new head of the Coalition,” said Suzanne Cabrera, Chair of the Coalition Board. “His extensive experience in housing financing and development, his vision and professionalism and his championship of all our major initiatives make him the best choice. Ashon is known for building partnerships across public and private, for-profit and nonprofit sectors – he has the right combination of leadership skills, policy expertise, and commitment to affordable housing to lead the Coalition.”
As CEO, Mr. Nesbitt will lead all of the Coalition’s housing affordability production and preservation initiatives. “There is no doubt, we are in a housing affordability crisis in Florida. We need to work together closely with our statewide members and our Partners for Better Housing to implement strategies which will strengthen Florida’s affordable housing production and preservation,” stated Mr. Nesbitt. “It’s exciting to be a part of the Coalition’s next chapter, and I look forward to working with our talented Board and staff as we further build successful strategies and champion housing affordability best practices.”
Learn Best Practices
Whether you are an experienced housing professional, an advocate, a non-profit housing provider, or new to the field — our weekly webinars, online training courses, and in-depth consultations can make you more effective at your job, and a better advocate for affordable housing in your community.
The Florida Housing Coalition’s mission is to bring together housing advocates and resources so that all Floridians have a home that is affordable in a suitable living environment.
In every Florida community there is an ethic to ensure all members of that community, including the most vulnerable and low income, can live in a home of that person’s own choosing that is affordable to them, and that each community has at least one community-based organization with the capacity to play an important role in delivering housing and related services in that community.
Cultivate. Collaborate. Connect.
The Florida Housing Coalition is commonly acknowledged as the foremost authority in Florida for providing training and technical assistance on everything related to affordable housing, from ending homelessness to first time homeownership. We provide consulting services at the local level, and we advocate at the state and national levels for people in need of affordable homes.
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The Florida Housing Coalition thanks our Partners for their commitment to improving housing conditions in the state of Florida. Our Partner support is critical to our success. For more information about our partners, click the button below.