(1)(a) Each county or eligible municipality participating in the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program shall develop and implement a local housing assistance plan created to make affordable residential units available to persons of very low income, low income, or moderate income and to persons who have special housing needs, including, but not limited to, homeless people, the elderly, migrant farmworkers, and persons with disabilities. Counties or eligible municipalities may include strategies to assist persons and households having annual incomes of not more than 140 percent of area median income. The plans are intended to increase the availability of affordable residential units by combining local resources and cost-saving measures into a local housing partnership and using private and public funds to reduce the cost of housing.
(b) Local housing assistance plans may allocate funds to:
1. Implement local housing assistance strategies for the provision of affordable housing.
2. Supplement funds available to the corporation to provide enhanced funding of state housing programs within the county or the eligible municipality.
3. Provide the local matching share of federal affordable housing grants or programs.
4. Fund emergency repairs, including, but not limited to, repairs performed by existing service providers under weatherization assistance programs under ss. 409.509-409.5093. 5. Further the housing element of the local government comprehensive plan adopted pursuant to s. 163.3184, specific to affordable housing. (2)(a) Each county and each eligible municipality participating in the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program shall encourage the involvement of appropriate public sector and private sector entities as partners in order to combine resources to reduce housing costs for the targeted population. This partnership process should involve:
1. Lending institutions.
2. Housing builders and developers.
3. Nonprofit and other community-based housing and service organizations.
4. Providers of professional services relating to affordable housing.
5. Advocates for low-income persons, including, but not limited to, homeless people, the elderly, and migrant farmworkers.
6. Real estate professionals.
7. Other persons or entities who can assist in providing housing or related support services.
(b) The specific participants in partnership activities may vary according to the community’s resources and the nature of the local housing assistance plan.
(3)(a) Each local housing assistance plan shall include a definition of essential service personnel for the county or eligible municipality, including, but not limited to, teachers and educators, other school district, community college, and university employees, police and fire personnel, health care personnel, skilled building trades personnel, and other job categories.
(b) Each county and each eligible municipality is encouraged to develop a strategy within its local housing assistance plan that emphasizes the recruitment and retention of essential service personnel. The local government is encouraged to involve public and private sector employers. Compliance with the eligibility criteria established under this strategy shall be verified by the county or eligible municipality.
(c) Each county and each eligible municipality is encouraged to develop a strategy within its local housing assistance plan that addresses the needs of persons who are deprived of affordable housing due to the closure of a mobile home park or the conversion of affordable rental units to condominiums.
(d) Each county and each eligible municipality shall describe initiatives in the local housing assistance plan to encourage or require innovative design, green building principles, storm-resistant construction, or other elements that reduce long-term costs relating to maintenance, utilities, or insurance.
(e) Each county and each eligible municipality is encouraged to develop a strategy within its local housing assistance plan which provides program funds for the preservation of assisted housing.
(4) Each local housing assistance plan is governed by the following criteria and administrative procedures: (a) Each county, eligible municipality, or entity formed through interlocal agreement to participate in the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program must develop a qualification system and selection criteria for applications for awards by eligible sponsors, adopt criteria for the selection of eligible persons, and adopt a maximum award schedule or system of amounts consistent with the intent and budget of its local housing assistance plan, with ss. 420.907-420.9079, and with corporation rule.
(b) The county or eligible municipality or its administrative representative shall advertise the notice of funding availability in a newspaper of general circulation and periodicals serving ethnic and diverse neighborhoods, at least 30 days before the beginning of the application period. If no funding is available due to a waiting list, no notice of funding availability is required.
(c) In accordance with the provisions of ss. 760.20-760.37, it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, age, sex, marital status, familial status, national origin, or handicap in the award application process for eligible housing. (d) As a condition of receipt of an award, the eligible sponsor or eligible person must contractually commit to comply with the affordable housing criteria provided under ss. 420.907-420.9079 applicable to the affordable housing objective of the award. The plan criteria adopted by the county or eligible municipality must prescribe the contractual obligations required to ensure compliance with award conditions.
(e) The staff or entity that has administrative authority for implementing a local housing assistance plan assisting rental developments shall annually monitor and determine tenant eligibility or, to the extent another governmental entity provides the same monitoring and determination, a municipality, county, or local housing financing authority may rely on such monitoring and determination of tenant eligibility. However, any loan or grant in the original amount of $3,000 or less shall not be subject to these annual monitoring and determination of tenant eligibility requirements.
(5) The following criteria apply to awards made to eligible sponsors or eligible persons for the purpose of providing eligible housing:
(a) At least 65 percent of the funds made available in each county and eligible municipality from the local housing distribution must be reserved for home ownership for eligible persons.
(b) At least 75 percent of the funds made available in each county and eligible municipality from the local housing distribution must be reserved for construction, rehabilitation, or emergency repair of affordable, eligible housing.
(c) Not more than 20 percent of the funds made available in each county and eligible municipality from the local housing distribution may be used for manufactured housing.
(d) The sales price or value of new or existing eligible housing may not exceed 90 percent of the average area purchase price in the statistical area in which the eligible housing is located. Such average area purchase price may be that calculated for any 12-month period beginning not earlier than the fourth calendar year prior to the year in which the award occurs or as otherwise established by the United States Department of the Treasury.
(e)1. All units constructed, rehabilitated, or otherwise assisted with the funds provided from the local housing assistance trust fund must be occupied by very-low-income persons, low-income persons, and moderate-income persons except as otherwise provided in this section.
2. At least 30 percent of the funds deposited into the local housing assistance trust fund must be reserved for awards to very-low-income persons or eligible sponsors who will serve very-low-income persons and at least an additional 30 percent of the funds deposited into the local housing assistance trust fund must be reserved for awards to low-income persons or eligible sponsors who will serve low-income persons. This subparagraph does not apply to a county or an eligible municipality that includes, or has included within the previous 5 years, an area of critical state concern designated or ratified by the Legislature for which the Legislature has declared its intent to provide affordable housing. The exemption created by this act expires on July 1, 2013, and shall apply retroactively.
(f) Loans shall be provided for periods not exceeding 30 years, except for deferred payment loans or loans that extend beyond 30 years which continue to serve eligible persons.
(g) Loans or grants for eligible rental housing constructed, rehabilitated, or otherwise assisted from the local housing assistance trust fund must be subject to recapture requirements as provided by the county or eligible municipality in its local housing assistance plan unless reserved for eligible persons for 15 years or the term of the assistance, whichever period is longer. Eligible sponsors that offer rental housing for sale before 15 years or that have remaining mortgages funded under this program must give a first right of refusal to eligible nonprofit organizations for purchase at the current market value for continued occupancy by eligible persons.
(h) Loans or grants for eligible owner-occupied housing constructed, rehabilitated, or otherwise assisted from proceeds provided from the local housing assistance trust fund shall be subject to recapture requirements as provided by the county or eligible municipality in its local housing assistance plan.
(i) The total amount of monthly mortgage payments or the amount of monthly rent charged by the eligible sponsor or her or his designee must be made affordable.
(j) The maximum sales price or value per unit and the maximum award per unit for eligible housing benefiting from awards made pursuant to this section must be established in the local housing assistance plan.
(k) The benefit of assistance provided through the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program must accrue to eligible persons occupying eligible housing. This provision shall not be construed to prohibit use of the local housing distribution funds for a mixed income rental development.
(l) Funds from the local housing distribution not used to meet the criteria established in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) or not used for the administration of a local housing assistance plan must be used for housing production and finance activities, including, but not limited to, financing preconstruction activities or the purchase of existing units, providing rental housing, and providing home ownership training to prospective home buyers and owners of homes assisted through the local housing assistance plan. 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b), program income as defined in s. 420.9071(24) may also be used to fund activities described in this paragraph.
2. When preconstruction due-diligence activities conducted as part of a preservation strategy show that preservation of the units is not feasible and will not result in the production of an eligible unit, such costs shall be deemed a program expense rather than an administrative expense if such program expenses do not exceed 3 percent of the annual local housing distribution.
3. If both an award under the local housing assistance plan and federal low-income housing tax credits are used to assist a project and there is a conflict between the criteria prescribed in this subsection and the requirements of s. 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, the county or eligible municipality may resolve the conflict by giving precedence to the requirements of s. 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, in lieu of following the criteria prescribed in this subsection with the exception of paragraphs (a) and (e) of this subsection.
4. Each county and each eligible municipality may award funds as a grant for construction, rehabilitation, or repair as part of disaster recovery or emergency repairs or to remedy accessibility or health and safety deficiencies. Any other grants must be approved as part of the local housing assistance plan.
(6) Each county or eligible municipality receiving local housing distribution moneys shall establish and maintain a local housing assistance trust fund. All moneys of a county or an eligible municipality received from its share of the local housing distribution, program income, recaptured funds, and other funds received or budgeted to implement the local housing assistance plan shall be deposited into the trust fund; however, local housing distribution moneys used to match federal HOME program moneys may be repaid to the HOME program fund if required by federal law or regulations. Expenditures other than for the administration and implementation of the local housing assistance plan may not be made from the fund.
(7) The moneys deposited in the local housing assistance trust fund shall be used to administer and implement the local housing assistance plan. The cost of administering the plan may not exceed 5 percent of the local housing distribution moneys and program income deposited into the trust fund. A county or an eligible municipality may not exceed the 5-percent limitation on administrative costs, unless its governing body finds, by resolution, that 5 percent of the local housing distribution plus 5 percent of program income is insufficient to adequately pay the necessary costs of administering the local housing assistance plan. The cost of administering the program may not exceed 10 percent of the local housing distribution plus 5 percent of program income deposited into the trust fund, except that small counties, as defined in s. 120.52(19), and eligible municipalities receiving a local housing distribution of up to $350,000 may use up to 10 percent of program income for administrative costs. (8) Pursuant to s. 420.531, the corporation shall provide training and technical assistance to local governments regarding the creation of partnerships, the design of local housing assistance strategies, the implementation of local housing incentive strategies, and the provision of support services.
(9) The corporation shall monitor the activities of local governments to determine compliance with program requirements and shall collect data on the operation and achievements of housing partnerships.
(10) Each county or eligible municipality shall submit to the corporation by September 15 of each year a report of its affordable housing programs and accomplishments through June 30 immediately preceding submittal of the report. The report shall be certified as accurate and complete by the local government’s chief elected official or his or her designee. Transmittal of the annual report by a county’s or eligible municipality’s chief elected official, or his or her designee, certifies that the local housing incentive strategies, or, if applicable, the local housing incentive plan, have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented pursuant to the adopted schedule for implementation. The report must include, but is not limited to:
(a) The number of households served by income category, age, family size, and race, and data regarding any special needs populations such as farmworkers, homeless persons, persons with disabilities, and the elderly. Counties shall report this information separately for households served in the unincorporated area and each municipality within the county.
(b) The number of units and the average cost of producing units under each local housing assistance strategy.
(c) The average area purchase price of single-family units and the amount of rent charged for a rental unit based on unit size.
(d) By income category, the number of mortgages made, the average mortgage amount, and the rate of default.
(e) A description of the status of implementation of each local housing incentive strategy, or if applicable, the local housing incentive plan as set forth in the local government’s adopted schedule for implementation.
(f) A concise description of the support services that are available to the residents of affordable housing provided by local programs.
(g) The sales price or value of housing produced and an accounting of what percentage was financed by the local housing distribution, other public moneys, and private resources.
(h) Such other data or affordable housing accomplishments considered significant by the reporting county or eligible municipality or by the corporation.
(11) The report shall be made available by the county or eligible municipality for public inspection and comment prior to certifying the report and transmitting it to the corporation. The county or eligible municipality shall provide notice of the availability of the proposed report and solicit public comment. The notice must state the public place where a copy of the proposed report can be obtained by interested persons. Members of the public may submit written comments on the report to the county or eligible municipality and the corporation. Written public comments shall identify the author by name, address, and interest affected. The county or eligible municipality shall attach a copy of all such written comments and its responses to the annual report submitted to the corporation.
(12) The corporation shall review the report of each county or eligible municipality and any written comments from the public and include any comments concerning the effectiveness of local programs in the report required by s. 420.511. (13)(a) If, as a result of the review of the annual report or public comment and written response from the county or eligible municipality, or at any other time, the corporation determines that a county or eligible municipality may have established a pattern of violation of the criteria for a local housing assistance plan established under ss. 420.907-420.9079 or that an eligible sponsor or eligible person has violated the applicable award conditions, the corporation shall report such pattern of violation of criteria or violation of award conditions to its compliance monitoring agent and the Executive Office of the Governor. The corporation’s compliance monitoring agent must determine within 60 days whether the county or eligible municipality has violated program criteria and shall issue a written report thereon. If a violation has occurred, the distribution of program funds to the county or eligible municipality must be suspended until the violation is corrected. (b) If, as a result of its review of the annual report, the corporation determines that a county or eligible municipality has failed to implement a local housing incentive strategy, or, if applicable, a local housing incentive plan, it shall send a notice of termination of the local government’s share of the local housing distribution by certified mail to the affected county or eligible municipality.
1. The notice must specify a date of termination of the funding if the affected county or eligible municipality does not implement the plan or strategy and provide for a local response. A county or eligible municipality shall respond to the corporation within 30 days after receipt of the notice of termination.
2. The corporation shall consider the local response that extenuating circumstances precluded implementation and grant an extension to the timeframe for implementation. Such an extension shall be made in the form of an extension agreement that provides a timeframe for implementation. The chief elected official of a county or eligible municipality or his or her designee shall have the authority to enter into the agreement on behalf of the local government.
3. If the county or the eligible municipality has not implemented the incentive strategy or entered into an extension agreement by the termination date specified in the notice, the local housing distribution share terminates, and any uncommitted local housing distribution funds held by the affected county or eligible municipality in its local housing assistance trust fund shall be transferred to the Local Government Housing Trust Fund to the credit of the corporation to administer.
4.a. If the affected local government fails to meet the timeframes specified in the agreement, the corporation shall terminate funds. The corporation shall send a notice of termination of the local government’s share of the local housing distribution by certified mail to the affected local government. The notice shall specify the termination date, and any uncommitted funds held by the affected local government shall be transferred to the Local Government Housing Trust Fund to the credit of the corporation to administer.
b. If the corporation terminates funds to a county, but an eligible municipality receiving a local housing distribution pursuant to an interlocal agreement maintains compliance with program requirements, the corporation shall thereafter distribute directly to the participating eligible municipality its share calculated in the manner provided in s. 420.9072. c. Any county or eligible municipality whose local distribution share has been terminated may subsequently elect to receive directly its local distribution share by adopting the ordinance, resolution, and local housing assistance plan in the manner and according to the procedures provided in ss. 420.907-420.9079.
(14) If the corporation determines that a county or eligible municipality has expended program funds for an ineligible activity, the corporation shall require such funds to be repaid to the local housing assistance trust fund. Such repayment may not be made with funds from the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program.