Homeownership Triumphs During 2022 Legislative Session
Moments ago, Florida’s 2022 Legislative Session came to a close, bringing with it a resounding victory for homeownership throughout the state.
Working hand-in-hand with state lawmakers, Florida Realtors® was able to successfully advocate for $362 million for homeownership and other related housing programs. Even better, this amount includes an astounding $100 million for our biggest legislative priority, the Hometown Hero Housing Program.
This revolving loan program, which was something that we heavily advocated for this entire session, provides a new avenue of down payment and closing cost assistance for hometown heroes, such as firefighters, law enforcement officers, teachers and nurses. We also were able to work with the Legislature to ensure Florida voters have a chance during the November election to further support our hometown heroes via an additional $50,000 homestead tax exemption.
These two homeownership initiatives are in addition to the $262 million that has been allocated for the state’s existing homeownership and rental programs that serve low income Floridians.
In addition to our homeownership-related accomplishments, we also achieved other notable successes, such as the defense of private property rights, targeted tax breaks for Floridians and a significant amount of environmental funding that will go a long way to keeping our waterways, springs and beaches clean.
Another huge issue affecting homeowners throughout Florida is property insurance. Although legislators did not pass any major reforms this year, our 2021 efforts were successful, and experts agree that it will take at least 18 months for those reforms to be seen in insurance premiums. We will continue to advocate for additional reforms in the months and years ahead as we work with lawmakers to address this problem.
Lastly, while we advocated for increased transparency of official condominium association records this session, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on the larger life/safety reforms brought about by the tragic Surfside collapse and as a result, no legislation related to condominiums passed this year. Legislators have already indicated a willingness to try again next session.
This was a tremendously successful legislative session and I can’t thank all of you enough for lending your voice and your time to advocate on behalf of the Realtor® profession.