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2023 Florida Statutes (including 2023C)

Florida Hometown Hero Program.
F.S. 420.5096
1420.5096 Florida Hometown Hero Program.
(1) The Legislature finds that individual homeownership is vital to building long-term housing and financial security. With rising home prices, down payment and closing costs are often significant barriers to homeownership for working Floridians. Each person in Florida’s hometown workforce is essential to creating thriving communities, and the Legislature finds that the ability of Floridians to reside within the communities in which they work is of great importance. Therefore, the Legislature finds that providing assistance to homebuyers in this state by reducing the amount of down payment and closing costs is a necessary step toward expanding access to homeownership and achieving safe, decent, and affordable housing for all Floridians.
(2) The Florida Hometown Hero Program is created to assist Florida’s hometown workforce in attaining homeownership by providing financial assistance to residents to purchase a home as their primary residence. Under the program, a borrower may apply to the corporation for a loan to reduce the amount of the down payment and closing costs paid by the borrower by a minimum of $10,000 and up to 5 percent of the first mortgage loan, not exceeding $35,000. Loans must be made available at a zero percent interest rate and must be made available for the term of the first mortgage. The balance of any loan is due at closing if the property is sold, refinanced, rented, or transferred, unless otherwise approved by the corporation.
(3) For loans made available pursuant to s. 420.507(23)(a)1. or 2., the corporation may underwrite and make those mortgage loans through the program to persons or families who have household incomes that do not exceed 150 percent of the state median income or local median income, whichever is greater. A borrower must be seeking to purchase a home as a primary residence; 2must be a first-time homebuyer and a Florida resident; and 2must be employed full-time by a Florida-based employer. The borrower must provide documentation of full-time employment, or full-time status for self-employed individuals, of 35 hours or more per week. The requirement to be a first-time homebuyer does not apply to a borrower who is an active duty servicemember of a branch of the armed forces or the Florida National Guard, as defined in s. 250.01, or a veteran.
(4) Loans made under the Florida Hometown Hero Program may be used for the purchase of manufactured homes, as defined in s. 320.01(2)(b), which were constructed after July 13, 1994; which are permanently affixed to real property in this state, whether owned or leased by the borrower; and which are titled and financed as tangible personal property or as real property.
(5) This program is intended to be evergreen, and repayments for loans made under this program shall be retained within the program to make additional loans.
History.s. 35, ch. 2023-17.
1Note.Section 43, ch. 2023-17, provides that:

“(1) The Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under s. 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of implementing provisions related to the Live Local Program created by this act. Notwithstanding any other law, emergency rules adopted under this section are effective for 6 months after adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.

“(2) This section expires July 1, 2026.”

2Note.The words “must be” were inserted by the editors to improve clarity.