Live Local Act
What is the Live Local Act?
The Live Local Act (CS/SB 102) was passed into law and became effective July 1, 2023. The Act addresses affordable housing needs by using a combination of funding, tax credits, tax exemptions and land use controls to create incentives for affordable housing.
For a ten-year period, the bill requires cities and counties to allow multifamily rental and mixed-use residential as allowable uses in any area zoned commercial, industrial or mixed-use (see Commercial, Industrial, and Mixed Use Map) if at least 40% of the units are affordable to income-eligible households for a least 30 years. For mixed-use projects, at least 65% of the total square footage must be used for residential purposes. Local governments may not require the proposed project to obtain a zoning or land use changes, special exception, conditional use approval, variance or comprehensive plan amendment for the height, density and zoning authorized by the bill. The following also apply:
- A local government may not restrict the height of an eligible project below the tallest currently allowed height for a commercial or residential development in the jurisdiction within 1 mile of the proposed project or three stories, whichever is higher.
- A local government may not restrict the density of an eligible project below the highest allowable density in the jurisdiction where residential development is allowed.
- Applications for eligible projects must be administratively approved by the local government with no further action by the governing body if the project satisfies applicable land development regulations and comprehensive plan requirements for mixed-use residential developments (other than height, density and zoning).
- A local government must consider reducing parking requirements for eligible projects if the proposal is located within half a mile of a “major transit stop” (as defined by the local government).
- Cities and certain counties with less than 20% of land zoned for commercial or industrial uses are only subject to these requirements for mixed-use developments (exclusively residential projects would not be eligible).
- Recreational and commercial working waterfront areas are exempt.
- The proposed project must otherwise comply with applicable state and local laws.
- Requires cities and counties, as well as independent special districts within local governments, to post annually an inventory of city- and county-owned lands appropriate for use as affordable housing on their websites.
- Prohibits cities and counties from enacting rent control requirements.
- Requires cities and counties to post on their websites policies for implementing state laws that require expedited processing of building permits and development orders (see "How do I take Advantage of the Act", below).
- Requires a new property tax exemption for newly constructed multifamily developments of over 70 affordable units that serve up to 120% AMI and do not have a Land Use Restriction Agreement with the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC); the exemption applies only to the affordable housing units.
- Authorizes cities and counties to implement additional property tax exemptions for developments that serve households at 60% AMI or below. Eligible projects must have at least 50 units and dedicate at least 20% of the units for affordable housing.
- Creates a new sales tax refund on building materials for affordable housing developments subject to an agreement with FHFC.
Funding and Tax Credits
The Act proposed $811 million for affordable housing through the following:
- $252 million for SHIP
- $259 million for SAIL
- $100 million for the Florida Hometown Hero Housing Program
- $100 million for a competitive loan program for new construction projects that have not yet commenced construction and are experiencing verifiable cost increases due to market inflation
- Up to $100 million for a new Live Local Tax Donation Program, whereby taxpayers can direct payments to the FHFC for use as SAIL funds in exchange for tax credits against corporate or insurance premium tax.
How do I Take Advantage of the Act?
To take advantage of an expedited process using the Live Local Act, upon submission of your application (site plan review or building permit), indicate the intention to submit under the Live Local Act, requesting expedited processing. To do this, when applying through on-line software, indicate in your scope/project description that you are requesting expedited processing and state the statutory basis entitlement for such expediting processing. Upon review, the City will give higher priority in the processing of your application once deemed it qualifies under the Act.
In compliance with Section 166.045(1), Florida Statutes, there are currently no City surplus properties for purchase. To inquire about surplus properties, please contact the Chris Edwards with Economic Development at 386-279-2497.