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Florida’s 2020-21 Budget Signed, Includes Realtor Priorities

Fla.’s $92.2 billion budget contains three major session priorities for Florida Realtors, including significant amounts of funding to improve water quality.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s $92.2 billion 2020-21 budget into law on Monday.

Although the budget was reduced by $1 billion from the $93.2 billion budget passed by the Florida Legislature in March, two of the three major budget priorities of Florida Realtors remained unchanged.

The overall budget reduction was a result of many individual budget cuts the governor made, some of them his own priorities. The goal of these cuts was to set aside additional money that can be used by the Legislature to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. These budget cuts, combined with Florida’s existing reserve funds, will provide additional resources for current and future emergencies.

The following Florida Realtors budget priorities become effective on July 1, 2020:

More than $625 million for environmental projects – Significant amounts of funding were allocated for projects that help address Florida’s environmental issues. Included in the funding is more than $322 million for Everglades restoration projects, $50 million for springs restoration, $160 million for targeted water quality improvements, $40 million for alternative water supply, and $25 million to combat harmful algal blooms and red tide.

Preventing unlicensed real estate activity – The Legislature allocated up to $500,000 to combat unlicensed real estate activity.

$145 million for affordable housing projects – Although the governor reduced state funding for affordable housing projects from $370 million to $145 million, an additional $250 million in federal housing funding was made available to Florida last week for rental and mortgage assistance for individuals that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, Florida has $395 million available for affordable housing projects for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The state portion of funding includes $115 million available for the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) program, $20 million for the Hurricane Housing Recovery Program, and $10 million for down payment and closing cost assistance in conjunction with the Homebuyer Loan Program.

The budget also provides $1 million to Building Homes for Heroes, a nonprofit organization that builds and modifies homes for veterans who were seriously injured while serving in the line of duty. The homes are gifted mortgage-free to veterans and their families.

Visit the governor’s budget announcement webpage for more funding information.

© 2020 Florida Realtors®