Housing News Network, July 2019

Vol. 35, No. 2

From the CEO

The 2019 Home Matters Conference celebrates accomplishments within the sobering context of Sadowski funds swept.

The sweep of Sadowski funds in 2019 was a surprising disappointment. We began the session with the leadership of Governor DeSantis calling for the appropriation of all the housing trust funds for housing in his budget, and a Senate in agreement. But in the end, the House tradition of diverting housing trust fund money into General Revenue for unknown purposes prevailed. A full report on the trust fund appropriations and the sweep of $125 million is found in the Legislative Wrap Up article that follows.

For every dollar of Sadowski monies that is appropriated for housing, we find success. And each year at our Home Matters conference, we lift up those successes to celebrate the work of our members from the private and public sector and the positive change they are making in the lives of Florida’s hard working families and most vulnerable residents living on fixed incomes. The achievements of our undaunted public and private sector members are inspirational. We celebrate the development and preservation of affordable homes and the advocacy on behalf of those in need of homes.

Housing disaster recovery is again at the forefront of the Florida Housing Coalition’s work and is here to stay. Day 1 of the conference brings a Disaster Recovery Forum. Concurrently, we have a forum on the federal Opportunity Zone initiative. The Florida Housing Coalition has a team of experts working with public and private sector partners to align Opportunity Zone investments with community needs. Ending youth homelessness is the third concurrent forum, highlighting work at the federal, state, and local level. Day 2 of the conference is chocked full of sessions for local government planners, housing professionals in the public and private sectors, faith-based organizations, and advocates. Day 3 has three concurrent forums, the SHIP Administrators Roundtable sponsored by FHFC, the Nonprofit Capacity Building Symposium sponsored by Fifth Third, and the Community Land Trust Symposium,
sponsored by Freddie Mac. Conference highlights are found on pages 31 through 34.

New Partners for Better Housing this year include the APA Florida and the Florida AARP. This year marks the beginning of APA continuing education credits for the FHC conference and we are thrilled to have Dr. Rodney Harrell, Driector of Livability Thought Leadership from national AARP as our keynote speaker. We also welcome the entire team of lawyers funded by the Florida Bar Foundation’s program for providing pro bono counsel for Florida’s nonprofit housing organizations. The program is called the Florida Community Development Legal Project (FCDL) and the Florida Housing Coalition is working with the FCDL statewide to connect our nonprofit members with free legal services. And as always, the Florida Housing Coalition’s statewide conference is accredited for
Florida Bar CLE.

A new feature of the conference is a Conference Concierge. We will have a Conference Concierge at the registration desk to help you plan your itinerary of training sessions at the conference. If you have not registered for the conference yet, I invite you to join us. Several of our Partners for Better Housing allow us to use their complimentary registrations to help organizations or individuals that need financial assistance; let us know if you find that you need a scholarship to attend. Our goal is to include everyone. The content of the conference is exceptional and the value in sharing practices and experiences among participants from every part of Florida is invaluable.


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