In recent years affordable housing providers throughout the U.S. have become increasingly focused on expanding housing opportunities for low income households in areas of opportunity while also making strategic investments in revitalizing communities. Three recent developments have added urgency to the issue: 1) the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project that the allocations of a state housing finance agency are subject to a disparate impact analysis under the Fair Housing Act; 2) the publication of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Final Rule by the United State Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and 3) HUD’s adoption of a new methodology for designating metropolitan Difficult Development Areas (DDAs). The new DDA approach means that in many metropolitan counties that HUD previously designated as DDAs, fewer sites are now within the new DDAs. Affordable housing developers are eligible to receive a boost in the Low Income Housing Tax Credits that may be available to them if their sites are located within a DDA or Qualified Census Tract (QCT).

In response to these trends, Florida Housing is exploring ways to operationalize opportunity and possibly incentivize development in areas outside of DDAs and QCTs. Throughout the first half of 2016, Florida Housing will engage stakeholders to assist in this effort. The initial analysis focuses on the seven large counties of Duval, Orange, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade. The Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at the University of Florida has provided invaluable technical assistance in support of this effort. A set of 355 maps as well as preliminary analysis is available by following the links below. Florida Housing invites the public to review these data, and submit comments to help the Corporation better incentivize development that increases housing choice for low income households in areas of opportunity.

July 21, 2016 2016/2017 Request for Applications (RFA) funding Process Workshop
Proposed 2016 Areas of Opportunity
  • All Metropolitan Counties – PDFs
  • Google Map Documents
May 6, 2016 Presentation to the Board of Directors
April 19, 2016 Rule Development Workshop
March 22, 2016 Rule Development Workshop
January 29, 2016 Rule Development Workshop
Other Links
2016 Small Area DDAs
Other Research on Areas of Opportunity