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Study Looks at the Efficiency of Fla.’s Housing Programs

By Kerry Smith

Sadowski Coalition: For every dollar spent on affordable housing, “there’s a 40% return on investment (for Fla.), in addition to producing desperately needed housing.”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Sadowski Coalition, which advocates for affordable housing issues, released its first economic study of the Sadowski Housing Trust Funds – the state funding mechanism for affordable housing.

 “The state and local government housing trust funds remain a critical tool in Florida’s effort to solve its affordable housing crisis,” says Cheryl Lambert, 2021 president of Florida Realtors® and broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness. “This study further amplifies that fact by demonstrating the ability of the trust funds to care for both the wellbeing of Floridians and the economic needs of the state.”

The study, “An Economic Analysis of the Florida Housing Programs,” evaluates and quantifies the return on investment (ROI) for using all the money in state and local housing trust funds for affordable housing. Among numerous other economic benefits for the State of Florida, the study found that every dollar used from the trust funds for housing returns $0.40 to Florida, which equates to more than $167 million in revenue, if lawmakers appropriate $423.3 million for housing.

The Sadowski Trust Fund is the common name for the Florida’s affordable housing trust funds, funded in large part through documentary stamp taxes collected on home sales.

The study, prepared by The Regional Economic Consulting (REC) Group in January 2021, determined and analyzed the economic impact of using state and local housing trust funds solely for housing. It considered the ways it relates to Florida’s gross domestic product, employment, output, state and local taxes, and personal income generated through direct, indirect and induced impacts.

 The study concluded that a full allocation of state and local housing trust funds over the past year, $423.3 million, could create “tens of thousands of jobs, return tens of millions in taxes, and produce billions of dollars in economic impacts on the economy at large all the while providing much-needed housing for thousands of Floridians.”

Specifically, the study says Florida would see 47,845 people housed, 33,286 jobs created and an economic impact of nearly $5 billion. With the economic activity created, more than $167 million in taxes would be returned back to Florida – $86.6 million to the state and $80.5 million to local governments.

 “This means that if the Florida Legislature includes $423.3 million for affordable housing in their budget, our state and local governments would see more than $167 million back in revenue,” says Jaimie Ross, facilitator of the Sadowski Coalition and president of the Florida Housing Coalition.

 “It’s clear that the benefit of using all the money in the trust funds for housing is not just for those that need housing, it’s also for the state,” adds Ross. “More than $167 million in taxes would be collected and returned to Florida by using $423.3 million for housing. The same can’t be said if those funds are swept and used for other purposes, and that substantial of a return shouldn’t be ignored.”

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Allen Thompson

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