Florida Cities Gear Up for Affordable Housing Development

[Photo: Larry Gispert, Hillsborough County EMD]
(Photo by Stewart Nelson, Florida League of Cities, Inc.)
L to R: Outgoing Florida League of Cities President, Julio Robaina (Mayor, Hialeah); HUD Regional Director-SE/Caribbean, Bob Young; incoming Florida League of Cities President, Rene Flowers (Council Vice Chair, St. Petersburg); incoming Florida League of Cities First Vice President, Frank Ortis (Mayor, Pembroke Pines)

As many local governments in Florida are facing shortages of affordably priced housing that affect the local workforce and the ability to sustain healthy, balanced economic growth, the Florida League of Cities convened its annual conference in Jacksonville, August 10-12, 2006. HUD's Regional Director Bob Young addressed the Intergovernmental Legislative Policy Committee and the League President/Executive Directors' Roundtable Luncheon. Information he brought concerning HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, Disaster Assistance, and the pending FHA Modernization Act will help city officials as they tackle challenging local issues.

Cities and counties are mandated by the state to develop strategies in their comprehensive plans to meet projected housing deficits. To help them do this, the Florida League will launch the Institute for Community Housing Program - an educational and technical assistance program designed to expose elected municipal officials and their housing staffs to the latest tools, trends and funding resources to yield successful affordable community housing development. Details of the program will be available on the Institute for Community Housing Program page on Florida League of Cities (www.flcities.com/) website.

HUD in Florida will assist the Florida League by sharing Office of Policy Development & Research (PD&R) and PATH technologies, along with Regulatory Barrier Clearinghouse resources. Currently, the National League of Cities, the Florida Department of Community Affairs, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, and the Florida Housing Coalition are collaborating in this effort.

The Florida League was created in 1922 by city officials who wanted to unite the municipal governments in the state. From a modest beginning of just a few cities and towns, the Florida League of Cities has become one of the largest state municipal leagues in the nation and very actively shares its views with state lawmakers.

Other best practice efforts to address the expansive growth in Florida include the co-sponsoring by Florida Department of Community Affairs of the work of MyRegion.org (http://www.myregion.org/), a seven-county collaboration to create a shared vision for future of central Florida. This effort includes integrated and detailed analyses of land-use and urban design, housing and employment, pedestrian environment and transit orientation, open space preservation, storm water runoff, and energy efficiency, climate change and build-out impacts.

Content Archived: July 11, 2011