Ballot initiative to secure affordable housing funds in Florida tops 62,000 signatures

Constitutional amendment would establish state housing fund

A 5-acre lot in Daytona Beach will soon be home to 100 units of affordable housing. (Image: Molly Reed/WKMG) (WKMG 2020)

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at ensuring money for affordable housing continue adding petition signatures as they try to get on the November 2022 ballot.

The Florida Division of Elections as of late Friday afternoon had received 62,552 valid petition signatures for the initiative spearheaded by the political committee Floridians for Housing.

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If the proposal gets on the ballot and is approved by 60% of voters, it would establish in the Florida Constitution the State Housing Trust Fund and the Local Government Housing Trust Fund. It would require that the trust funds receive at least 25% of the revenue from documentary-stamp taxes --- which are collected on real-estate transactions --- and would detail how the money could be used to address affordable housing.

Realtor groups have poured millions of dollars into the initiative, which comes after years of frustration in the real-estate industry and among other groups about decisions by lawmakers to use money from a state affordable-housing trust fund, known as the Sadowski trust fund, for other purposes.

To get the measure on the ballot, the committee will need to submit 891,589 valid petition signatures by a Feb. 1 deadline. As a preliminary step, the committee needs to submit 222,898 signatures to trigger a crucial Florida Supreme Court review of the proposed ballot wording.

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