On March 29, 2023, the Governor signed the Live Local Act (SB 102) into law, representing the largest housing affordability investment in Florida history. Over $711 million is appropriated for affordable and workforce housing initiatives, downpayment assistance, and tax credit programs. Besides funding, the law eases regulation in the hopes it will spur development of affordable housing in commercial and industrial zoning districts, near workplaces.

Local jurisdictions are now preempted on certain land use and zoning decisions regarding affordable housing. Cities and counties can no longer enact rent control measures, and administrative approval must be granted for multi-family and mixed- use developments in commercial, mixed use, and industrial zoning districts when the development commits to affordability of some units for at least 30 years. Specifically, a residential or mixed-use development with at least 40% of its units rented to households earning up to 120% of the Area Median Income meets the affordability criteria. Such projects are eligible for:

  • administrative approval-without public hearings;
  • allowable density is the maximum density allowed on any land where residential development is permitted in the jurisdiction;
  • reduced parking requirements must be considered if within one-half mile of a major transit stop; and
  • allowable height is the maximum height allowed for residential or commercial development in the jurisdiction within one mile of the project site, or three stories, whichever is greater.

The Live Local Act becomes effective on July 1, 2023, and it expires on October 1, 2033. Our professional planning team is helping communities adapt to these new policies by preparing standards and guidelines for neighborhood-scaled affordable and mixed use housing models. These criteria will promote compatibility, walkability, and urban design where housing is introduced to traditionally commercialized areas.

For more information contact Chrissy Fisher, AICP at [email protected].