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Florida House Democrats call on more money for Sadowski Fund as statewide affordable housing crisis worsens

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Some Florida lawmakers want more of the state’s $101 billion dollar budget to be funneled into the Sadowski Trust Fund in order to alleviate an affordable housing crisis.

The fund set up by the Florida legislature in 1992 collects taxes on real estate transactions in order to finance new affordable housing developments in the state.

But Orlando Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith says about half of the money from the fund has been permanently diverted to other parts of the budget. 

That’s despite the Florida Housing Coalition reporting a deficit of close to 400,000 affordable housing units in the state.

“So we know that this isn’t sustainable. That is why we think it is really, really important during this budget year, that we have a budget that goes beyond just fully funding the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund, because now we understand that fully funding is actually half of what it used to mean.”

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Smith is also calling for more protections for tenants including renters rights packages and flexible tourist development tax spending that could go toward rental assistance. 

“We believe that all Floridians deserve the freedom to know that if they work hard and get a good paying job that they can afford a home for their family, and not be housing unstable as we see so many of our families are.”

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Smith says last year only about $209 million dollars was earmarked for affordable housing, when double that amount was promised to taxpayers. 

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.