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Stephanie Sutton (850) 488-4197
For Immediate Release:

Florida Housing Applauds Governor DeSantis’ Freedom First Budget Recommendations

Program offered exclusively to veterans and active-duty military members

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled his Freedom First Budget proposal providing $355.5 million for affordable housing programs from the State and Local Government Housing Trust Funds. Funding at the full level continues to show the Governor’s leadership and commitment to safely housing our citizens, a must have for Florida’s essential workforce.

Florida Housing Board Chairman Ron Lieberman said, “Providing sustainable, affordable housing for families, especially home ownership, in Florida continues to be the mission of Governor DeSantis and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. The value of home ownership can never be understated, as it is a gateway to freedom for many families and our continued commitment to this goal will be our driving motivation to put these funds to the best use and elevate Florida’s families.”

Florida Housing Executive Director Trey Price said, “Since taking office, Governor Ron DeSantis has been a strong advocate for funding Florida’s affordable housing programs, because affordable housing is a lynchpin for Florida’s workforce. For the fourth year in a row, Governor DeSantis has recommended full funding in his budget; which totals over $1.5 billion dollars. Collectively, it represents the largest request of any Governor since the early 2000’s.  Governor DeSantis understands these funds meet critical housing needs and provides a significant economic impact in our communities statewide.

As the state’s housing finance agency, Florida Housing successfully implements both state and federal affordable housing programs. State funding for programs such as the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) Program leverages millions of dollars in federal resources for developers to build even more affordable rental developments throughout the state. Additionally, homeownership funding for our veterans and down payment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers that helps families achieve the American Dream will also continue.

The Freedom First Budget includes funding for Florida Housing’s largest affordable housing programs:

  • $95 million for the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) Program, which provides gap loan financing to developers to leverage funding available under both the Multifamily Mortgage Revenue Bond and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit programs, resulting in the full financing needed to construct affordable rental units for families and elders. These are low-interest loans awarded on a competitive basis to developers of affordable rental housing.

  • $220.5 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program provides funds to local governments as an incentive to create partnerships that produce and preserve affordable homeownership and multifamily rental housing. The program is designed to serve very low, low and moderate income families. The minimum allocation per county is $350,000 and may be used for a variety of strategies such as home rehabilitation and emergency repairs, down payment and closing costs assistance, homeownership counseling, new construction and homelessness prevention. 

The Freedom First Budget also includes $40 million to establish a revolving loan program to support workforce homeownership, including down payment assistance and closing cost assistance. 

Florida Housing was created by the Legislature 40 years ago. We are the state’s housing finance agency (HFA) that administers state and federal resources to help provide affordable homeownership and rental housing options for the citizens of Florida


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