Housing News Network, November 2007

Vol. 23, No. 3

From the Editor

THE ECONOMICS OF HOUSING – it was our statewide annual conference theme, supported by our state’s Chief Financial Officer in her keynote speech, and the Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs in his state of the state address. And at the very time over 700 housing professionals were gathered in Orlando for the Florida Housing Coalition’s statewide conference, Governor Crist announced a plan for fueling Florida’s economy by appropriating $75 million from the housing trust funds to provide more money to Florida’s SHIP programs and assist more homebuyers using the state’s loan programs. There was and continues to be a great deal of energy around the economics of housing from political leaders, national and statewide experts, and housing professionals.

National experts showed us that it costs the business community and private tax payers more to allow homelessness than to provide housing with services for the homeless population—that if for no other reason than economics, we should be housing the homeless. See article page 23.

National experts showed us how to use tools such as linkage fees and inclusionary zoning in ways that improve the economy and less than a month later, the Village of Islamorada adopted an affordable housing ordinance to improve its economy which put those lessons into law. See article on page 20.

State experts addressed the economic issues that cause mobile home park closures and what Florida should be doing to
address the loss of mobile home park housing. Most exciting on this front, was the announcement made at the conference
by DCA Secretary Tom Pelham that the DCA would no longer find comprehensive plan amendments, which serve to close mobile home parks without alternative housing available, to be in compliance with growth management law. See articles on pages 3 – 5.