Governor Ron DeSantis Signs ‘Live Local Act’ – $711 Million To Help Make Housing More Affordable in Florida

Toby Hazlewood

Tackling the inflated cost of living in Florida
Governor Ron DeSantisPhoto byTwitter of ProudElephantUS

On March 29, Florida's Republican Governor signed the 'Live Local Act' - an initiative that will devote $711 million towards lowering the cost of housing for Florida's residents.

The new law will provide over twice as much state funding for housing and rental programs, incentivize investment in affordable housing and encourage mixed-use developments in struggling commercial areas, and is intended as a measure to help Floridians to live in the communities in which they work, rather than being forced to live further-afield due to inflated costs.

Commenting on the need for the bill, DeSantis attributed the rising cost of accommodation as a side-effect of Americans moving to the Sunshine State from elsewhere around the United States:

“As demand is high to move to a place like Florida, it makes it more challenging for folks to be able to afford.”

In 2022, an estimated 41,000 New Yorkers alone moved to Florida, urged on by their Governor - Kathy Hochul - telling Republicans in the state that they weren't welcome and should move south to Florida.

Helping Florida's citizens to remain local

The bill - SB102 - allocates funding to a number of programs, including $252 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership program; $150 million per year to the State Apartment Incentive Loan program; and $100 million for the Hometown Heroes program. That initiative was announced by DeSantis in 2022 and is intended to help teachers, health-care workers and law-enforcers to get onto the property ladder.

While growing property values are a sign of economic strength, there's a clear sense that Florida is outpacing other states given the rapid migration of Americans to the Sunshine State from elsewhere. It's a clear case of demand for housing outstripping supply, which inevitably forces up house prices and rent costs.

Given the cost-of-living crisis that's also taking its toll on American purse-strings, combined with what Governor DeSantis has called 'Bidenflation' and it's clear to see why Floridians need help just to be able to live in the neighborhoods where they work.

Americans are moving to Florida, not leaving it

Florida has become one of the most popular destination states for Americans looking to pack up and relocate from states like New York, New Jersey and California in the wake of the global pandemic.

220,890 Americans moved to Florida in 2021, many leaving Democrat-led states such as California and New York. While they've generally been made welcome, there was a spate of incidents earlier this year where flyers were distributed widely in West Palm Beach suggesting that 'Woke' New Yorkers should stay out of Florida.

The issue has also become politicized, and is a matter of pride for Governor DeSantis as he continues to fight his feuds with Democratic governors around the nation. DeSantis has particular issues with Governor Gavin Newsom of California, and the pair have often exchanged words that amount to trying to lure residents from each others' state, to their own based on perceived levels of freedom.

Whether the new funding promised by Governor DeSantis will help Floridians find housing in their own neighborhoods in the short-term, remains to be seen.

Do you think that Governor Ron DeSantis is doing enough to try and help the citizens of Florida with the escalating cost of living? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments / 22

Published by

Commentary, Interpretation and Analysis of News and Current Affairs


More from Toby Hazlewood

Comments / 0