CRISIS IN FLORIDA
The shortage of affordable housing has reached a crisis point in Florida. Millions of households in the Sunshine State are paying between 30 to 50% of their income on housing, leaving precious little for other necessities like costs related to healthcare, transportation, and utilities.
This isn’t a new problem. This situation has been declining for years. In 1992, the Florida legislature created the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund in an effort to combat the shortage of affordable housing before it reached crisis levels. Unfortunately, state lawmakers have routinely siphoned huge chunks of money from this fund to fill the gap in budget shortfalls and pay for other initiatives while the housing situation for middle and lower income families became even more critical.
Using the hundreds of millions collected in the Sadowski Fund each year to actually build more affordable housing would reap both social and economic benefits for Florida.
Adults and children with stable homes have better physical and mental health, succeed in work and at school, and are able to contribute positively to their communities. Seniors, veterans, and disabled individuals with affordable housing options don’t have to rely on institutional care, which is much more expensive, or end up in homeless shelters.
The construction of affordable homes would stimulate local economies by boosting growth. Developers would hire local workers to build these homes and use local retailers to purchase supplies. The tenants of these homes, no longer strapped with housing costs in excess of 50% of their monthly household income, would have more discretionary funds to spend in their communities, further improving the local economy.
Lower and middle income Floridians across the state are struggling with the cost of housing. Millions are locked into rentals that cost more than 30% of their household income, making saving to purchase a home of their own impossible. Too many face the difficult choice of paying rent or paying for costs related to healthcare and other necessities. By using the full amount of the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund to create additional affordable housing options in Florida, working families, seniors, veterans, and disabled residents of the Sunshine State will have a better opportunity to meet the rising costs of living and truly thrive.