Florida Senate - 2015                             CS for SB 1520
       By the Committee on Community Affairs; and Senator Soto
       578-03628-15                                          20151520c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to housing for low-income persons;
    3         amending s. 420.9075, F.S.; authorizing local housing
    4         assistance plans to allocate funds to provide rental
    5         assistance to include the first and last month’s rent
    6         for eligible persons, subject to certain restrictions;
    7         amending s. 421.02, F.S.; revising the legislative
    8         declaration of necessity; amending s. 421.03, F.S.;
    9         redefining terms; defining the terms “blighted” and
   10         “essential commercial goods and services”; amending s.
   11         421.04, F.S.; prohibiting a housing authority from
   12         applying to the Federal Government to seize projects,
   13         units, or vouchers of another established housing
   14         authority; amending s. 421.05, F.S.; prohibiting
   15         specified additional compensation for authority
   16         commissioners; amending s. 421.06, F.S.; prohibiting
   17         commissioners or employees from acquiring interests in
   18         certain commercial projects; requiring commissioners
   19         or employees to disclose interests in commercial
   20         projects under certain circumstances; amending s.
   21         421.08, F.S.; revising the powers of an authority;
   22         requiring that revenue received by a housing authority
   23         from certain commercial projects be used for
   24         affordable housing; conforming a cross-reference;
   25         amending s. 421.09, F.S.; conforming a cross
   26         reference; amending s. 421.091, F.S.; requiring a full
   27         financial accounting and audit of public housing
   28         agencies to be submitted to the Federal Government
   29         pursuant to certain requirements; exempting housing
   30         authorities from specified reporting requirements;
   31         amending s. 421.21, F.S.; revising legislative intent;
   32         creating s. 421.281, F.S.; creating consolidated
   33         housing authorities subject to certain requirements
   34         and restrictions; specifying the area of operation of
   35         a consolidated housing authority; providing for the
   36         appointment of commissioners subject to certain
   37         requirements and restrictions; providing that a
   38         majority of the commissioners constitutes a quorum;
   39         specifying the powers and duties of a consolidated
   40         housing authority and the commissioners thereof;
   41         amending s. 421.32, F.S.; conforming provisions to
   42         changes made by the act; conforming a cross-reference;
   43         amending s. 421.321, F.S.; conforming provisions to
   44         changes made by the act; amending s. 421.33, F.S.;
   45         conforming provisions to changes made by the act;
   46         amending s. 422.02, F.S.; providing a finding that
   47         there is a lack of access to certain essential
   48         commercial goods and services; amending s. 422.04,
   49         F.S.; authorizing state public bodies to provide or
   50         cause to be provided commercial projects that allow
   51         access to certain essential commercial goods and
   52         services; amending s. 423.01, F.S.; providing a
   53         finding that certain projects for the clearance of
   54         blighted areas and access to essential commercial
   55         goods and services are required; providing a finding
   56         that facilities made available by housing authorities
   57         to provide access to essential commercial goods and
   58         services are a critical component for housing projects
   59         and constitute a public use and governmental function;
   60         providing a finding that certain property used to
   61         provide access to essential commercial goods and
   62         services is exclusively for public uses and municipal
   63         purposes; amending s. 423.02, F.S.; providing that the
   64         activities or property of a person who provides
   65         essential commercial goods and services is not exempt
   66         from certain taxes and special assessments; exempting
   67         real property of a housing authority which is used to
   68         provide access to essential commercial goods and
   69         services from ad valorem taxes and special
   70         assessments; amending s. 893.13, F.S.; conforming a
   71         cross-reference; providing an effective date.
   73  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   75         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
   76  420.9075, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   77         420.9075 Local housing assistance plans; partnerships.—
   78         (1)
   79         (b) Local housing assistance plans may allocate funds to:
   80         1. Implement local housing assistance strategies for the
   81  provision of affordable housing.
   82         2. Supplement funds available to the corporation to provide
   83  enhanced funding of state housing programs within the county or
   84  the eligible municipality.
   85         3. Provide the local matching share of federal affordable
   86  housing grants or programs.
   87         4. Fund emergency repairs, including, but not limited to,
   88  repairs performed by existing service providers under
   89  weatherization assistance programs under ss. 409.509-409.5093.
   90         5. Further the housing element of the local government
   91  comprehensive plan adopted pursuant to s. 163.3184, specific to
   92  affordable housing.
   93         6. Provide rental assistance to include the first and last
   94  month’s rent for eligible persons. Neither the first nor last
   95  month’s rent may be greater than the monthly amount of the
   96  rental agreement.
   97         Section 2. Section 421.02, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   98  read:
   99         421.02 Finding and declaration of necessity.—It is hereby
  100  declared that:
  101         (1) There exist in the state insanitary or unsafe dwelling
  102  accommodations and that persons of low income are forced to
  103  reside in such insanitary or unsafe accommodations; that within
  104  the state there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling
  105  accommodations available at rents which persons of low income
  106  can afford and that such persons are forced to occupy
  107  overcrowded and congested dwelling accommodations; that such the
  108  aforesaid conditions cause an increase in and spread of disease
  109  and crime and constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals,
  110  and welfare of the residents of the state and impair economic
  111  values; and that these conditions necessitate excessive and
  112  disproportionate expenditures of public funds for crime
  113  prevention and punishment, public health, welfare and safety,
  114  fire and accident protection, and other public services and
  115  facilities.
  116         (2) Blighted areas in the state cannot be revitalized, nor
  117  can the shortage of safe and sanitary dwellings for persons of
  118  low income be relieved, solely through the operation of private
  119  enterprise. However, the state encourages the use of housing
  120  authority property in combination with private enterprise to
  121  construct, rehabilitate, and otherwise provide safe and sanitary
  122  dwelling conditions for persons of low income.
  123         (3) The clearance, replanning, and reconstruction of the
  124  areas in which insanitary or unsafe housing conditions exist,
  125  and the providing of safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations,
  126  and the access to essential commercial goods and services
  127  necessary for daily living for persons of low income, including
  128  the acquisition by a housing authority of property to be used
  129  for or in connection with housing projects or appurtenant
  130  thereto, are exclusively public uses and purposes for which
  131  public money may be spent and private property acquired and are
  132  governmental functions of public concern.
  133         (4) An important public purpose is served by providing
  134  access to essential commercial goods and services necessary for
  135  daily living for persons served by public housing authorities as
  136  those persons often have limited transportation capacity and
  137  significant family demands. Issues such as limited
  138  transportation capacity and significant family demands
  139  complicate daily living and make access to essential commercial
  140  goods and services difficult.
  141         (5)(4) The necessity in the public interest for the
  142  provisions hereinafter enacted, is hereby declared as a matter
  143  of legislative determination.
  144         Section 3. Section 421.03, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  145  read:
  146         421.03 Definitions.—As used The following terms, wherever
  147  used or referred to in this part, except where the context
  148  clearly indicates otherwise, the term shall have the following
  149  respective meanings for the purposes of this part, unless a
  150  different meaning clearly appears from the context:
  151         (2)(1) “Authority” or “housing authority” means a shall
  152  mean any of the public corporation corporations created pursuant
  153  to by s. 421.04.
  154         (4)(2) “City” means shall mean any city or town of the
  155  state having a population of more than 2,500, according to the
  156  last preceding federal or state census. The term also means “The
  157  city” shall mean the particular city for which a particular
  158  housing authority is created.
  159         (9)(3) “Governing body” means shall mean the city council,
  160  the commission, or other legislative body charged with governing
  161  the city, as the case may be.
  162         (11)(4) “Mayor” means shall mean the mayor of the city or
  163  the officer thereof charged with the duties customarily imposed
  164  on the mayor or executive head of the city.
  165         (5) “Clerk” means shall mean the clerk of the city or the
  166  officer of the city charged with the duties customarily imposed
  167  on the clerk thereof.
  168         (1)(6) “Area of Operation”:
  169         (a) In the case of a housing authority of a city having a
  170  population of less than 25,000, includes shall include such city
  171  and the area within 5 miles of its the territorial boundaries.
  172  thereof; and
  173         (b) In the case of a housing authority of a city having a
  174  population of 25,000 or more, includes shall include such city
  175  and the area within 10 miles of its from the territorial
  176  boundaries. thereof; provided However, that the area of
  177  operation of a housing authority of a any city may shall not
  178  include any area that which lies within the territorial
  179  boundaries of another some other city as herein defined; and may
  180  further provided that the area of operation shall not extend
  181  outside of the boundaries of the county in which the city is
  182  located. A and no housing authority has no shall have any power
  183  or jurisdiction outside of the county in which the city is
  184  located.
  185         (7) “Essential commercial goods and services” means goods,
  186  such as groceries and clothing, and services, such as child
  187  care, K-12 education, financial services, job training and
  188  placement, laundry facilities, and other local governmental
  189  services, which are in close proximity to dwelling
  190  accommodations of a housing authority, are necessary for daily
  191  living, and may be difficult for persons of low income to access
  192  unless located in close proximity to the housing development
  193  where the persons of low income reside.
  194         (8)(7) “Federal Government” means shall include the United
  195  States Government, the Federal Emergency Administration of
  196  Public Works or any department, commission, other agency, or
  197  other instrumentality thereof, corporate or otherwise, of the
  198  United States.
  199         (3)(8)“Blighted” means “Slum” shall mean any area where
  200  dwellings predominate which, by reason of dilapidation,
  201  overcrowding, faulty arrangement or design, lack of ventilation,
  202  light or sanitary facilities, or any combination of these
  203  factors, are detrimental to safety, health, and morals.
  204         (10)(9) “Housing project” means shall mean any work or
  205  undertaking:
  206         (a) To demolish, clear, or remove buildings from any
  207  blighted slum area, which; such work or undertaking may embrace
  208  the adaption of such area to public purposes, including parks or
  209  other recreational or community purposes; or
  210         (b) To provide decent, safe, and sanitary urban or rural
  211  dwellings, apartments, or other living accommodations for
  212  persons of low income, which; such work or undertaking may
  213  include buildings, land, equipment, facilities, and other real
  214  or personal property for necessary, convenient, or desirable
  215  appurtenances, streets, sewers, water service, parks, site
  216  preparation, gardening, administrative, community, health,
  217  recreational, educational, welfare, or other purposes; or
  218         (c) To provide access to essential commercial goods and
  219  services; or
  220         (d)(c) To accomplish a combination of the foregoing.
  222  The term “housing project” also applies may be applied to the
  223  planning of the buildings and improvements;, the acquisition of
  224  property;, the demolition of existing structures;, the
  225  construction, reconstruction, alteration, and repair of the
  226  improvements; and all other work in connection therewith.
  227         (13)(10) “Persons of low income” means shall mean persons
  228  or families who lack the amount of income which is necessary, as
  229  determined by the authority undertaking the housing project, to
  230  enable them, without financial assistance, to live in decent,
  231  safe, and sanitary dwellings, without overcrowding.
  232         (6)(11) “Debentures” means shall mean any notes, interim
  233  certificates, debentures, revenue certificates, or other
  234  obligations issued by an authority pursuant to this chapter.
  235         (14)(12) “Real property” includes shall include all lands,
  236  including improvements and fixtures thereon, and property of any
  237  nature appurtenant thereto, or used in connection therewith, and
  238  every estate, interest, and right, legal or equitable, therein,
  239  including terms for years and liens by way of judgment,
  240  mortgage, or otherwise and the indebtedness secured by such
  241  liens.
  242         (12)(13) “Obligee of the authority” or “obligee” includes
  243  shall include any holder of debentures, trustee or trustees for
  244  any such holders, or lessor demising to the authority property
  245  used in connection with a housing project, or any assignee or
  246  assignees of such lessor’s interest or any part thereof, and the
  247  Federal Government when it is a party to any contract with the
  248  authority.
  249         Section 4. Subsection (4) is added to section 421.04,
  250  Florida Statutes, to read:
  251         421.04 Creation of housing authorities.—
  252         (4) A housing authority, regardless of the date of its
  253  creation, may not apply to the Federal Government to seize any
  254  projects, units, or vouchers of another established housing
  255  authority, irrespective of each housing authority’s areas of
  256  operation.
  257         Section 5. Subsection (2) of section 421.05, Florida
  258  Statutes, is amended to read:
  259         421.05 Appointment, qualifications, and tenure of
  260  commissioners; hiring of employees.—
  261         (2) The powers of each authority shall be vested in the
  262  commissioners thereof in office from time to time. A majority of
  263  the commissioners shall constitute a quorum of the authority for
  264  the purpose of conducting its business and exercising its powers
  265  and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the authority
  266  upon a vote of a majority of the commissioners present, unless
  267  in any case the bylaws of the authority require a larger number.
  268  The mayor with the concurrence of the governing body shall
  269  designate which of the commissioners appointed shall be the
  270  first chair, but when the office of the chair of the authority
  271  thereafter becomes vacant, the authority shall select a chair
  272  from among its commissioners. An authority shall select from
  273  among its commissioners a vice chair,; and it may employ a
  274  secretary, who shall be the executive director, technical
  275  experts, and such other officers, agents, and employees,
  276  permanent and temporary, as it may require and shall determine
  277  their qualifications, duties, and compensation. As provided in
  278  s. 215.425, a commissioner may not receive extra compensation.
  279  For such legal services as it may require, an authority may call
  280  upon the chief law officer of the city or may employ its own
  281  counsel and legal staff. An authority may delegate to one or
  282  more of its agents or employees such powers or duties as it may
  283  deem proper.
  284         Section 6. Section 421.06, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  285  read:
  286         421.06 Commissioners or employees prohibited from acquiring
  287  interests in housing projects and required to disclose interests
  288  in specified properties; exception.—Except for the leasehold
  289  interest held by a tenant-commissioner in the housing project in
  290  which he or she is a tenant, a no commissioner or employee of an
  291  authority may not shall acquire any interest, direct or
  292  indirect, in any housing project or in any property included or
  293  planned to be included in any project, or nor shall he or she
  294  have any interest, direct or indirect, in any contract or
  295  proposed contract for materials or services to be furnished or
  296  used in connection with any housing project. If a commissioner
  297  or employee of an authority owns or controls an interest, direct
  298  or indirect, in any property included or planned to be included
  299  in any housing project, he or she shall immediately disclose the
  300  same in writing to the authority. Such disclosure shall be
  301  entered upon the minutes of the authority. Failure so to
  302  disclose such interest constitutes misconduct in office. This
  303  section applies to any commercial project authorized by this
  304  chapter.
  305         Section 7. Section 421.08, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  306  read:
  307         421.08 Powers of authority.—
  308         (1) An authority constitutes shall constitute a public body
  309  corporate and politic, exercising the public and essential
  310  governmental functions set forth in this chapter, and having all
  311  the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate
  312  the purpose and provisions of this chapter, including the
  313  following additional powers in addition to others herein
  314  granted:
  315         (a)(1) To sue and be sued; to have a seal and to alter it
  316  the same at pleasure; to have perpetual succession; to make and
  317  execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient
  318  to the exercise of the powers of the authority; to appear in
  319  court through any of its officers, agents, or employees, for the
  320  exclusive purpose of filing eviction papers; and to make and
  321  from time to time amend and repeal bylaws, rules, and
  322  regulations, not inconsistent with this chapter, to carry into
  323  effect the powers and purposes of the authority.
  324         (b)(2) Within its area of operation, to prepare, carry out,
  325  acquire, lease, and operate housing projects and; to provide for
  326  the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration, or
  327  repair of any housing project or any part thereof.
  328         (c)(3) To arrange or contract for the furnishing by any
  329  person or agency, public or private, of services, privileges,
  330  works, or facilities for, or in connection with, a housing
  331  project or the occupants thereof.; provided, however, that
  332         1. Notwithstanding any other power or provision in this
  333  chapter, the authority may shall not construct, lease, control,
  334  purchase, or otherwise establish, in connection with or as a
  335  part of any housing project or any other real or any other
  336  property under its control, any system, work, facilities,
  337  plants, or other equipment for the purpose of furnishing utility
  338  service of any kind to such projects or to any tenant or
  339  occupant thereof if in the event that a system, work, facility,
  340  plant, or other equipment for the furnishing of the same utility
  341  service is being actually operated by a municipality or private
  342  concern in the area of operation or the city or the territory
  343  immediately adjacent thereto. However, this subparagraph does
  344  not ; provided, further, that nothing herein shall be construed
  345  to prohibit the construction or acquisition by the authority of:
  346         a. Any system, work, facilities, or other equipment for the
  347  sole and only purpose of receiving utility services from any
  348  such municipality or such private concern and then distributing
  349  such utility services to the project and to the tenants and
  350  occupants thereof; or and,
  351         b. Any renewable energy devices or systems to be installed
  352  and located upon housing authority property for the sole purpose
  353  of reducing utility costs to the tenants or occupants thereof.
  354         2. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in
  355  this chapter or in any other provision of law, the authority may
  356  to include, in any contract let in connection with a project,
  357  stipulations requiring that the contractor and any
  358  subcontractors comply with requirements as to minimum wages and
  359  maximum hours of labor, and comply with any conditions which the
  360  Federal Government may have attached to its financial aid of the
  361  project.
  362         (d)(4) To lease or rent any dwellings, houses,
  363  accommodations, lands, buildings, structures, or facilities
  364  embraced in any housing project and, subject to the limitations
  365  contained in this chapter, to establish and revise the rents or
  366  charges therefor; to own, hold, and improve real or personal
  367  property; to purchase, lease, obtain options upon, acquire by
  368  gift, grant, bequest, devise, or otherwise any real or personal
  369  property or any interest therein; to acquire by the exercise of
  370  the power of eminent domain any real property, except real
  371  property to be used to provide access to essential commercial
  372  goods and services; to sell, lease, exchange, transfer, assign,
  373  pledge, or dispose of any real or personal property or any
  374  interest therein; to insure or provide for the insurance of any
  375  real or personal property or operations of the authority against
  376  any risks or hazards; and to procure or agree to the procurement
  377  of insurance or guarantees from the Federal Government of the
  378  payment of any such debts or parts thereof, whether or not
  379  incurred by the said authority, including the power to pay
  380  premiums on any such insurance.
  381         (e)(5) To invest any funds held in reserves or sinking
  382  funds, or any funds not required for immediate disbursement, in
  383  property or securities in which savings banks may legally invest
  384  funds subject to their control and; to purchase its debentures
  385  at a price not exceeding more than the principal amount thereof
  386  and accrued interest, with all debentures so purchased to be
  387  canceled.
  388         (f)(6) Within its area of operation: to investigate into
  389  living, dwelling, and housing conditions and into the means and
  390  methods of improving such conditions; to determine where
  391  blighted slum areas exist or where there is a shortage of
  392  decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling accommodations for persons
  393  of low income; to make studies and recommendations relating to
  394  the problem of clearing, replanning, and reconstruction of
  395  blighted slum areas and the problem of providing dwelling
  396  accommodations for persons of low income; to administer fair
  397  housing ordinances and other ordinances as adopted by cities,
  398  counties, or other authorities who wish to contract for
  399  administrative services and to cooperate with the city, the
  400  county, or the state or any political subdivision thereof in
  401  action taken in connection with such problems; and to engage in
  402  research, studies, and experimentation on the subject of
  403  housing.
  404         (g)(7) Acting through one or more commissioners or other
  405  person or persons designated by the authority:; to conduct
  406  examinations and investigations and to hear testimony and take
  407  proof under oath at public or private hearings on any matter
  408  material for its information; to administer oaths, issue
  409  subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses or the
  410  production of books and papers, and to issue commissions for the
  411  examination of witnesses who are outside of the state, or unable
  412  to attend before the authority, or excused from attendance; and
  413  to make available to appropriate agencies, including those
  414  charged with the duty of abating or requiring the correction of
  415  nuisances or like conditions, or of demolishing unsafe or
  416  insanitary structures within its area of operation, its findings
  417  and recommendations with regard to any building or property
  418  where conditions exist which are dangerous to the public health,
  419  morals, safety, or welfare.
  420         (h)(8)(a) To organize for the purpose of creating a for
  421  profit or not-for-profit corporation, limited liability company,
  422  or other similar business entity pursuant to all applicable laws
  423  of this state in which the housing authority may hold an
  424  ownership interest or participate in its governance in order to
  425  develop, acquire, lease, construct, rehabilitate, manage, or
  426  operate multifamily or single-family residential projects and
  427  commercial projects that allow access to essential commercial
  428  goods and services for persons of low income residing in such
  429  residential projects.
  430         1. These projects may include nonresidential uses and may
  431  use public and private funds to serve individuals or families
  432  who meet the applicable income requirements of the state or
  433  federal program involved; whose income does not exceed 150
  434  percent of the applicable median income for the area, as
  435  established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban
  436  Development; and who, in the determination of the housing
  437  authority, lack sufficient income or assets to enable them to
  438  purchase or rent a decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling. These
  439  corporations, limited liability companies, or other business
  440  entities may join partnerships, joint ventures, or limited
  441  liability companies pursuant to applicable laws or may otherwise
  442  engage with business entities in developing, acquiring, leasing,
  443  constructing, rehabilitating, managing, or operating such
  444  projects.
  445         2.(b) The creation by a housing authority of such a
  446  corporation, limited liability company, or other business entity
  447  that is properly registered pursuant to all applicable laws
  448  before the effective date of this act is ratified and validated
  449  if the creation of such corporation, limited liability company,
  450  or other business entity would have been valid had this act been
  451  in effect at the time such corporation, limited liability
  452  company, or other business entity was created and registered.
  453         3.(c) Proceedings or acts performed by a housing authority
  454  or a corporation, limited liability company, or other business
  455  entity authorized pursuant to subparagraph 2. paragraph (b) are
  456  ratified and validated if such proceedings or acts were in
  457  furtherance of the purposes set forth in this chapter and would
  458  have been valid had this act been in effect at the time such
  459  proceedings or acts were performed.
  460         (i)(9) Notwithstanding s. 112.061, to the governing board
  461  of an authority may approve and implement policies for per diem,
  462  travel, and other expenses of its officials, officers, board
  463  members, employees, and authorized persons in a manner
  464  consistent with federal guidelines.
  465         (j)(10) To exercise all or any part or combination of
  466  powers herein granted in this section. No Provisions of law
  467  relating with respect to acquisition, operation, or disposition
  468  of property by other public bodies do not apply shall be
  469  applicable to an authority unless the Legislature shall
  470  specifically so states state.
  471         (2) Any revenue received by a housing authority from
  472  commercial projects that provide access to essential commercial
  473  goods and services necessary for daily living of persons
  474  residing in housing developments must be used exclusively for
  475  affordable housing.
  476         Section 8. Subsection (2) of section 421.09, Florida
  477  Statutes, is amended to read:
  478         421.09 Operation not for profit.—
  479         (2) This section does not prohibit or restrict the
  480  activities or operations of a business entity created under s.
  481  421.08(1)(h) 421.08(8).
  482         Section 9. Subsection (1) of section 421.091, Florida
  483  Statutes, is amended to read:
  484         421.091 Financial accounting and investments; fiscal year.—
  485         (1) A complete and full financial accounting and audit in
  486  accordance with federal audit standards of public housing
  487  agencies shall be made biennially by a certified public
  488  accountant and submitted to the Federal Government in accordance
  489  with its policies. Housing authorities are otherwise exempt from
  490  the reporting requirements of s. 218.32. A copy of such audit
  491  shall be filed with the governing body and with the Auditor
  492  General.
  493         Section 10. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) and subsection
  494  (3) of section 421.21, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  495         421.21 Aid from Federal Government; tax exemptions.—
  496         (2) In addition to the powers conferred upon an authority
  497  by subsection (1) and other provisions of this chapter, an
  498  authority is empowered to borrow money or accept grants or other
  499  financial assistance from the Federal Government under s. 202 of
  500  the Housing Act of 1959 (Pub. L. No. 86-372) or any law or
  501  program of the United States Department of Housing and Urban
  502  Development, which provides for direct federal loans in the
  503  maximum amount, as defined therein, for the purpose of assisting
  504  certain nonprofit corporations to provide housing and related
  505  facilities for elderly families and elderly persons.
  506         (b) This provision relating to housing facilities for the
  507  elderly is cumulative and in addition to the powers given to
  508  housing authorities under this chapter. All powers granted
  509  generally by law to housing authorities in Florida relating to
  510  issuance of trust indentures, debentures, and other methods of
  511  raising capital also shall apply also to housing authorities in
  512  connection with their participation in programs of the United
  513  States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  514         (3) It is the legislative intent that the tax exemption of
  515  housing authorities provided by chapter 423, shall specifically
  516  applies apply to any housing authority created under this
  517  section and any affordable housing efforts it undertakes, either
  518  directly or through instrumentalities.
  519         Section 11. Section 421.281, Florida Statutes, is created
  520  to read:
  521         421.281 Consolidated Housing Authorities.—
  522         (1) CREATION.—
  523         (a) If, after a public hearing and two consecutive meetings
  524  at which such resolution is heard, the commissioners of at least
  525  two municipal or municipal and county housing authorities of
  526  neighboring areas of operation that are not under federal
  527  receivership declare by identical resolution that there is a
  528  need for merging their authorities which serves the best
  529  interest of their respective tenants and communities, one
  530  housing authority shall be created for all of such authorities
  531  to exercise powers and other functions herein prescribed in such
  532  areas of operation through a public body corporate and politic
  533  to be known as a consolidated housing authority.
  534         (b) After the consolidation, each housing authority created
  535  by s. 421.04 or s. 421.27 for each of the areas shall cease to
  536  exist except for the purpose of winding up its affairs and
  537  executing a deed to the consolidated housing authority as
  538  hereafter provided, if:
  539         1. All obligees of such housing authorities and parties to
  540  the contracts, bonds, notes, and other obligations of such
  541  housing authorities agree to the substitution of the
  542  consolidated housing authority; and
  543         2. The commissioners of such housing authorities adopt a
  544  resolution consenting to the transfer of all of the rights,
  545  contracts, obligations, and property, real and personal, to the
  546  consolidated housing authority.
  547         (c) When any real property of a housing authority vests in
  548  a consolidated housing authority as provided in subsection (2),
  549  the housing authority shall execute a deed of such property to
  550  the consolidated housing authority which shall file such deed
  551  with the recorder of deeds of the county where such real
  552  property is located.
  553         (d) In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the
  554  validity or enforcement of, or relating to, any contract of the
  555  consolidated housing authority, the consolidated housing
  556  authority shall be conclusively deemed to have been created,
  557  established, and authorized to transact business and exercise
  558  its powers hereunder upon proof of the adoption of a resolution
  559  by the commissioners of each of the authorities creating the
  560  consolidated housing authority.
  561         (e) No more than three housing authorities may be
  562  consolidated within a 10-year period, unless there is a
  563  resolution of each housing authority and local government within
  564  the area of operation in support of such additional
  565  consolidation.
  566         (2) AREA OF OPERATION.—
  567         (a) The area of operation of a consolidated housing
  568  authority shall include the combined areas of operation of the
  569  housing authorities that merged to form the consolidated housing
  570  authority.
  571         (b) In connection with the issuance of bonds or the
  572  incurring of other obligations, a consolidated housing authority
  573  may covenant as to limitations on its right to adopt resolutions
  574  relating to the increase of its area of operation.
  575         (3) COMMISSIONERS.—
  576         (a) When a consolidated housing authority has been created,
  577  the consolidation plan must include provision for the
  578  distribution of appointments among the existing appointing
  579  authorities. The appointing authorities shall thereupon appoint
  580  seven persons, with at least one qualified elector from each
  581  area of operation included therein, provided that there are
  582  suitable candidates who are willing to serve from each area of
  583  operation.
  584         (b) When the area of operation of a consolidated housing
  585  authority is increased to include an additional area of
  586  operation as herein provided, the consolidation plan must
  587  provide for the appointment of one qualified elector from each
  588  such additional area of operation as a commissioner. The number
  589  of commissioners of a consolidated housing authority may be
  590  increased above seven only for the implementation of this
  591  subsection.
  592         (c) If any county is later excluded from the area of
  593  operation of a consolidated housing authority, the office of the
  594  commissioner of such housing authority appointed as provided in
  595  subsection (2) is abolished.
  596         (d) If the area of operation of a consolidated housing
  597  authority consists at any time of an even number of counties,
  598  the Governor shall appoint one additional commissioner, who must
  599  be a qualified elector from one of the counties in such area of
  600  operation.
  601         (e) A certificate of the appointment of any commissioner of
  602  a consolidated housing authority shall be filed with the county
  603  clerk of the county from which the commissioner is appointed,
  604  and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and
  605  proper appointment of such commissioner.
  606         (f) The commissioners of a consolidated housing authority
  607  shall be appointed for staggered terms of 4 years, except that
  608  the terms of the initial appointees may be truncated to provide
  609  for staggered terms, and vacancies shall be filled for the
  610  unexpired terms. Each commissioner shall hold office until a
  611  successor has been appointed and has qualified, except as
  612  otherwise provided herein. The appointing authority shall
  613  thereafter appoint the successor of each commissioner.
  614         (g) The commissioners of a consolidated housing authority
  615  shall elect a chair from among the commissioners and may select
  616  or employ such other officers and employees as the housing
  617  authority may require. A majority of the commissioners of a
  618  consolidated housing authority constitutes a quorum for the
  619  purpose of conducting its business and exercising its powers and
  620  for all other purposes.
  621         (4) POWERS AND DUTIES.—Except as otherwise provided herein,
  622  a consolidated housing authority and the commissioners thereof
  623  shall, within the area of operation of such consolidated housing
  624  authority, have the same functions, rights, powers, duties,
  625  privileges, and immunities provided for housing authorities
  626  created for cities or counties. A consolidated housing authority
  627  may select an appropriate corporate name.
  628         Section 12. Section 421.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  629  read:
  630         421.32 Rural housing projects.—County housing authorities,
  631  consolidated housing authorities, and regional housing
  632  authorities are specifically empowered and authorized to borrow
  633  money, accept grants, and exercise their other powers to provide
  634  housing for farmers of low income and domestic farm labor as
  635  defined in s. 514 of the Federal Housing Act of 1949. In
  636  connection with such projects, any such housing authority may
  637  enter into such leases or purchase agreements, accept such
  638  conveyances, and rent or sell dwellings forming part of such
  639  projects to or for farmers of low income, as such housing
  640  authority deems necessary in order to assure the achievement of
  641  the objectives of this law. Such leases, agreements, or
  642  conveyances may include such covenants as the housing authority
  643  deems appropriate regarding such dwellings and the tracts of
  644  land described in any such instrument, which covenants shall be
  645  deemed to run with the land when where the housing authority
  646  deems it necessary and the parties to such instrument so
  647  stipulate. In providing housing for farmers of low income,
  648  county housing authorities, consolidated housing authorities,
  649  and regional housing authorities are shall not be subject to the
  650  limitations provided in ss. 421.08(1)(c) 421.08(3) and
  651  421.10(3). Nothing contained in This section does not limit
  652  shall be construed as limiting any other powers of any housing
  653  authority.
  654         Section 13. Section 421.321, Florida Statutes, is amended
  655  to read:
  656         421.321 Execution of mortgages.—County, consolidated, and
  657  regional housing authorities organized under this chapter are
  658  authorized to execute mortgages encumbering real property as
  659  security for loans made for providing facilities for domestic
  660  farm labor pursuant to s. 514 of the Federal Housing Act of
  661  1949.
  662         Section 14. Section 421.33, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  663  read:
  664         421.33 Housing applications by farmers.—The owner of any
  665  farm operated, or worked upon, by farmers of low income in need
  666  of safe and sanitary housing may file an application with a
  667  housing authority created for a county, consolidated, or a
  668  regional housing authority requesting that it provide for a safe
  669  and sanitary dwelling or dwellings for occupancy by such farmers
  670  of low income. Such applications shall be received and examined
  671  by housing authorities in connection with the formulation of
  672  projects or programs to provide housing for farmers of low
  673  income. Provided, However, that if it becomes necessary for an
  674  applicant under this section to convey any portion of the
  675  applicant’s then homestead in order to take advantages as
  676  provided herein, then in that event, the parting with title to a
  677  portion of said homestead shall not affect the remaining portion
  678  of same, but all rights that said owner may have in and to same
  679  under and by virtue of the State Constitution of the state or
  680  any law passed pursuant thereto, shall be deemed and held to
  681  apply to such remaining portion of said land, the title of which
  682  remains in said applicant. ; it being the intention of The
  683  Legislature intends to permit the owner of any farm operated or
  684  worked upon by farmers of low income in need of safe and
  685  sanitary housing to take advantage of the provisions of this law
  686  without jeopardizing the owner’s their rights in the owner’s
  687  their then homestead by reason of any requirement that may be
  688  necessary in order for them to receive the benefits herein
  689  provided,; and a no court may not shall ever construe that an
  690  applicant who has taken advantage of this law has in any manner,
  691  shape, or form abandoned his or her rights in any property that
  692  is the applicant’s then homestead by virtue of such action upon
  693  his or her part, but it shall be held, construed, and deemed
  694  that such action upon the part of any applicant hereunder was
  695  not any abandonment of the applicant’s then homestead, and that
  696  all rights that the applicant then had therein shall be and
  697  remain as provided by the State Constitution and any law enacted
  698  pursuant thereto.
  699         Section 15. Section 422.02, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  700  read:
  701         422.02 Finding and declaration of necessity.—It has been
  702  found and declared in the Housing Authorities Law that there
  703  exist in the state unsafe and insanitary housing conditions, and
  704  a shortage of safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations, and a
  705  lack of access to essential commercial goods and services
  706  necessary for daily living for persons of low income; that these
  707  conditions necessitate excessive and disproportionate
  708  expenditures of public funds for crime prevention and
  709  punishment, public health, welfare and safety, fire and accident
  710  protection, and other public services and facilities; and that
  711  the public interest requires the remedying of these conditions.
  712  It is found and declared that the assistance herein provided for
  713  the remedying of the conditions set forth in the Housing
  714  Authorities Law constitutes a public use and purpose and an
  715  essential governmental function for which public moneys may be
  716  spent and other aid given; that it is a proper public purpose
  717  for any state public body to aid any housing authority operating
  718  within its boundaries or jurisdiction or any housing project
  719  located therein, as the state public body derives immediate
  720  benefits and advantages from such an authority or project; and
  721  that the provisions hereinafter enacted are necessary in the
  722  public interest.
  723         Section 16. Section 422.04, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  724  read:
  725         422.04 Cooperation in undertaking housing projects.—
  726         (1) For the purpose of aiding and cooperating in the
  727  planning, undertaking, construction, or operation of housing
  728  projects located within the area in which it is authorized to
  729  act, any state public body may, upon such terms, with or without
  730  consideration, as it may determine:
  731         (a) Dedicate, sell, convey, or lease any of its property to
  732  a housing authority or the Federal Government.;
  733         (b) Cause parks;, playgrounds;, recreational, community,
  734  educational, water, sewer, or drainage facilities; commercial
  735  projects that allow access to essential commercial goods and
  736  services for persons of low income residing in housing projects;
  737  or any other works, which it is otherwise empowered to
  738  undertake, to be furnished adjacent to or in connection with
  739  housing projects.;
  740         (c) Furnish, dedicate, close, pave, install, grade,
  741  regrade, plan, or replan streets, roads, roadways, alleys,
  742  sidewalks, or other places which it is otherwise empowered to
  743  undertake.;
  744         (d) Plan, or replan, zone, or rezone any part of such state
  745  public body; make exceptions from building regulations and
  746  ordinances; and, with respect to any city or town, also may
  747  change its map.;
  748         (e) Enter into agreements, which may extend over any
  749  period, notwithstanding any provision or rule of law to the
  750  contrary, with a housing authority or the Federal Government
  751  respecting action to be taken by such state public body pursuant
  752  to any of the powers granted by this chapter.;
  753         (f) Do any and all things, necessary or convenient to aid
  754  and cooperate in the planning, undertaking, construction, or
  755  operation of such housing projects.;
  756         (g) Purchase or legally invest in any of the debentures of
  757  a housing authority and exercise all of the rights of any holder
  758  of such debentures.;
  759         (h) Not require any changes to be made in a housing project
  760  or the manner of its construction or take any other action
  761  relating to such construction with respect to any housing
  762  project which a housing authority has acquired or taken over
  763  from the Federal Government and which the housing authority by
  764  resolution has found and declared to have been constructed in a
  765  manner that will promote the public interest and afford
  766  necessary safety, sanitation, and other protection., no state
  767  public body shall require any changes to be made in the housing
  768  project or the manner of its construction or take any other
  769  action relating to such construction;
  770         (i) Incur the entire expense of In connection with any
  771  public improvements made by the a state public body in
  772  exercising the powers herein granted, such state public body may
  773  incur the entire expense thereof.
  774         (2) Any law or statute to the contrary notwithstanding, any
  775  sale, conveyance, lease, or agreement provided for in this
  776  section may be made by a state public body without appraisal,
  777  public notice, advertisement, or public bidding.
  778         Section 17. Section 423.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  779  read:
  780         423.01 Finding and declaration of property of tax exemption
  781  for housing authorities.—It has been found and declared in the
  782  Housing Authorities Law and the Housing Cooperation Law that:
  783         (1) There exist in the state housing conditions that which
  784  constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals, and welfare
  785  of the residents of the state;
  786         (2) These conditions necessitate excessive and
  787  disproportionate expenditures of public funds for crime
  788  prevention and punishment, public health, welfare and safety,
  789  fire and accident prevention, and other public services and
  790  facilities;
  791         (3) The public interest requires the remedying of these
  792  conditions by the creation of housing authorities to undertake
  793  projects for the slum clearance of blighted areas and for
  794  providing safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations and access
  795  to essential commercial goods and services necessary for daily
  796  living for persons who lack sufficient income to enable them to
  797  live in decent, safe, and sanitary dwellings without
  798  overcrowding; and
  799         (4) Facilities made available by housing authorities to
  800  provide access to essential commercial goods and services
  801  necessary for daily living for persons of low income residing in
  802  housing projects are a critical component of those housing
  803  projects and constitute a public use and a governmental
  804  function; and
  805         (5)(4) Such housing projects, including all property of a
  806  housing authority used for or in connection therewith or
  807  appurtenant thereto and all property used to provide access to
  808  essential commercial goods and services necessary for daily
  809  living for persons of low income residing in such housing
  810  projects, are exclusively for public uses and municipal purposes
  811  and not for profit, and are governmental functions of state
  812  concern. As a matter of legislative determination, it is found
  813  and declared that the property and debentures of a housing
  814  authority are of such character as may be exempt from taxation.
  815         Section 18. Section 423.02, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  816  read:
  817         423.02 Housing projects exempted from taxes and
  818  assessments; payments in lieu thereof.—The housing projects,
  819  including all property of housing authorities used for or in
  820  connection therewith or appurtenant thereto, of housing
  821  authorities are shall be exempt from all taxes and special
  822  assessments of the state or any city, town, county, or political
  823  subdivision of the state., provided, However, that in lieu of
  824  such taxes or special assessments, a housing authority may agree
  825  to make payments to any city, town, county, or political
  826  subdivision of the state for services, improvements, or
  827  facilities furnished by such city, town, county, or political
  828  subdivision for the benefit of a housing project owned by the
  829  housing authority, but in no event shall such payments may not
  830  exceed the estimated cost to such city, town, county or
  831  political subdivision of the services, improvements, or
  832  facilities to be so furnished by the city, town, county, or
  833  political subdivision of the state. This section does not exempt
  834  the activities or property of a person who provides essential
  835  commercial goods and services. However, the real property of a
  836  housing authority that is used to provide access to essential
  837  commercial goods and services under this chapter is exempt from
  838  ad valorem taxes and special assessments.
  839         Section 19. Paragraph (f) of subsection (1) of section
  840  893.13, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  841         893.13 Prohibited acts; penalties.—
  842         (1)
  843         (f) Except as authorized by this chapter, a person may not
  844  sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell,
  845  manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance in, on, or
  846  within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a public
  847  housing facility at any time. As used in this section, the term
  848  “real property comprising a public housing facility” means real
  849  property, as defined in s. 421.03(14) 421.03(12), of a public
  850  corporation created as a housing authority pursuant to part I of
  851  chapter 421. A person who violates this paragraph with respect
  852  to:
  853         1. A controlled substance named or described in s.
  854  893.03(1)(a), (1)(b), (1)(d), (2)(a), (2)(b), or (2)(c)4.
  855  commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in
  856  s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  857         2. A controlled substance named or described in s.
  858  893.03(1)(c), (2)(c)1., (2)(c)2., (2)(c)3., (2)(c)5., (2)(c)6.,
  859  (2)(c)7., (2)(c)8., (2)(c)9., (3), or (4) commits a felony of
  860  the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.
  861  775.083, or s. 775.084.
  862         3. Any other controlled substance, except as lawfully sold,
  863  manufactured, or delivered, must be sentenced to pay a $500 fine
  864  and to serve 100 hours of public service in addition to any
  865  other penalty prescribed by law.
  866         Section 20. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.