Gov. DeSantis signs measure to boost affordable housing
Flanked by police officers, politicians and Realtors, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 102, a package of provisions aimed at getting developers to build more affordable housing units as a way to stem the tide of rising rents across the state.
“There’s really now good financial incentives to increase the supply of housing,” DeSantis said shortly after signing the legislation at an event in Naples.
The bill was a top priority for Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a Naples Republican, who worked on the language with developers, housing advocates, local government officials and others throughout the past year.
“We believe that from Day 1 there will be a big impact on the lack of housing for our citizens,” Passidomo said.
It passed unanimously in the Senate and only received six “no” votes in the House. Much of the bill was highly praised by Democrats and Republicans, but Democrats expressed frustration with one provision that prohibits cities and counties from enacting rent control ordinances. Orange County voters approved such an ordinance last year, which led to a court battle before DeSantis signed the measure.
Renters throughout the state have sought relief as prices have soared in recent years. A Florida TaxWatch report found rents increased 36% from 2020 to 2022, and the median rent was $1,266 at the start of 2021 before rising 29% over that year, to $1,635.
Passidomo and DeSantis said one of the aims of the bill was to allow middle- and lower-class workers to live closer to their job. The hike in rents and home prices has pushed workers to find housing far away from their workplace, they said.