Broward Housing Council (BHC)
Since 2009, the Broward Housing Council has served in an advisory capacity to the County Commission and facilitated coordination between the County, municipalities, the business community, and not-for-profit groups. The BHC addresses housing issues including, but not limited to: affordable housing, workforce housing, and homelessness.
Created by the Charter of Broward County (Section 11.07) in November 2008, the BHC has between 17-19 members representing various cities, not-for-profit housing and homelessness organizations, service providers and community representatives. Commissioner Lamar P. Fisher, District 4, serves on the BHC as the County Commission representative.
The BHC makes policy recommendations to the County Commission regarding affordable housing countywide. Their 2020 adopted Work Program addresses seven (7) key areas: Facilitate Coordination, Increase Affordable Housing Stock, Enhance Housing Stability, Advocate for Legislative Change, Streamline Process, Address Homelessness, and Support Countywide Financing.
The public is encouraged to attend the BHC bimonthly meetings, tentatively held on the last Friday of every other month, from 10 AM -12 PM, at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.
Families could be headed for disaster over unpaid rent during COVID-19
Sun Sentinel, July 31, 2020, Ron Hurtibise
Hundreds of thousands of out-of-work and underemployed tenants, unable to pay past-due rents, are in danger of being thrown to the streets in Florida — not today, not next week, but at some point soon when the state’s governor decides enough is enough.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest extension of the state’s eviction moratorium — this time to Sept. 1 — merely delays an inevitable day of reckoning, according to advocates for both renters and landlords.
When that comes, judges will begin signing stacks of eviction orders, sheriff’s deputies will begin serving notices to vacate, and an alarming number of families will be forcibly removed from their homes with nowhere else to go.
Landlords will see their investments go into default and get repossessed by lenders. Hedge funds will swoop in like vultures, scooping up properties for pennies on the dollar.
The only way to avoid this doomsday scenario, advocates say, is for Congress and the president to approve billions of dollars in assistance — not loans, but grants, much like the forgivable Payment Protection Program loans that have been made available for businesses that promised to keep employees on their payrolls through the first weeks of the shutdown.
Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium Extended to Sep. 1
Executive Order, July 29, 2020, Secretary of State
An Executive Order from the Governor Ron Desantis was signed July 29, extending the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until September 1, 2020.
Exec Order 20-180
The Eviction Ban Worked, But It’s Almost Over. Some Landlords Are Getting Ready.
ProPublica, July 25, 2020, by Jeff Ernsthausen and Ellis Simani
The CARES Act was largely successful in keeping millions of American renters from facing eviction during the pandemic. As protections fade, some landlords are gearing up to return to court.
Starting July 25, a key component of the federal eviction moratorium is set to expire, allowing landlords that operate federally backed rental properties to give their tenants 30 days’ notice to vacate. After that period, landlords can file for eviction.
Limited Extension of Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction relief
Executive Order, June 30, 2020, Secretary of State
An Executive Order from the Governor Ron Desantis was signed June 30, extending the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until August 1, 2020.
Exec Order 20-159
Governor Approves 2020-21 State Budget
Florida Government News Releases, June 29, 2020, Staff
Today, the Governor signed HB 5001 – General Appropriations Act (“Budget”) – into law. The overall budget totals $92.2 billion, with over $1 billion in vetoes to supplant losses in revenue due to the COVID-19 health pandemic. The area of Affordable Housing received 2020-21 Fiscal Year funding as follows:
$225 million of the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) fund was vetoed. However, last week the Governor appropriated $250 million in CARES Act funding for rental and mortgage assistance for Florida families that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be two funding pools totaling up to $240 million and sets aside up to $10 million in expected operational costs for the program. Below is a summary of how funds are to be allocated:
Rental Assistance for Affordable Rental Housing Tenants
$120 million will provide short-term rental assistance for COVID-19 impacted households residing at multifamily rental properties in FHFC’s portfolio.
- FHFC will reimburse participating properties to subsidize eligible households’ rents for each impacted month.
- The rental assistance will be available to help pay a household’s rent for eligible months from July through December 2020.
- The household may be eligible for assistance to pay rent arrearages accrued during the months of April, May and June 2020.
Rent and Mortgage Assistance
A separate pool of $120 million will be released to counties based on a county’s reemployment assistance rate for the determined disbursement period. The allocation also includes $200,000 for technical assistance to local governments. These funds would be used for rental and homeowner assistance programs such as:
- New construction.
- Mortgage buydowns.
- Down payment.
- Closing cost assistance.
- Emergency repairs.
- Homeownership counseling for individuals impacted by COVID-19.
Operations Assistance for Special Needs Developments and Administrative Costs
- A one-time allocation of $2 million will be provided to assist with past and future costs related to additional staffing, security and supplies directly related to COVID-19 in serving special needs and homeless households residing in the supportive housing developments. The allocation will be based on each development’s total number of units.
- Additionally, $8 million will be provided in expected administrative costs, including credit underwriting, disbursement review and processing, compliance monitoring and technical assistance. Funds not used for administration, if any, would be added to Rental Assistance and/or Operations Assistance for Special Needs Developments.
Statement on veto of Sadowski housing trust funds
Member newsletter, June 29, 2020, Sadowski Affiliates
SHIP funding was vetoed from Florida budget, CARES Act funding directed to rental and mortgage assistance.
Sadowski Affiliates statement...
FHFC Releases 2019 Annual Report
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) 2019 Annual Report is now available online. The report, themed: “Welcoming Families Home,” is available for print and/or viewing.
Governor Ron DeSantis Announces $250 Million for Affordable Housing Coronavirus Relief Initiative
Florida Government News Releases, June 25, 2020, Staff
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced $250 million in CARES Act funding for rental and mortgage assistance for Florida families that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many families across our state have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 through no fault of their own,” said Governor DeSantis. “This initiative strives to provide financial assistance through multiple affordable housing programs to ensure these Floridians receive the support they need during this difficult time.”
“Florida Housing is grateful for the Governor’s strong support of housing and the programs proposed to give renters and homeowners impacted by COVID-19 the relief they desperately need,” said Florida Housing Finance Corporation Executive Director Trey Price. “The Governor and Florida Housing stand together in guaranteeing Florida households stay a priority, and ensuring families have the necessary assistance and tools in place to remain in their homes affordably during this public health emergency.”
The initiative includes two funding pools totaling up to $240 million and sets aside up to $10 million in expected operational costs for the program.
Is America's Housing Ready for an Aging Population?
United States Census Bureau, June 22, 2020, Jonathan Vespa
It should come as no surprise that older Americans overwhelmingly want to stay in their home as they age. But are their homes ready for them to stay?
For millions of older Americans, home is where they raised a family, hosted holidays and told bedtime stories to their children and grandchildren. It is often their nest egg as well as an anchor to their community.
But older homes don’t always meet the needs of older Americans, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.
South Florida rents are declining as coronavirus chases tenants away from downtowns
Sun Sentinel, June 20, 2020, David Lyons
The coronavirus pandemic might be chasing people away from living on top of each other in apartments.
Rents are gradually declining, suggesting that tenants are looking elsewhere for room to work at home and stay healthy.
In 30 South Florida cities, the rent for 62% of one-bedroom units are either flat or declining, according to Zumper, a national apartment search firm. The percentage increases to 69% for two-bedroom prices.
Feds Pump Millions Into Disability Housing As Part Of Coronavirus Relief
DisabilityScoop, June 9, 2020, Michelle Diament
Federal officials are funneling millions of dollars into new housing opportunities for people with disabilities across the nation.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said it is making available nearly $77 million to support as many as 8,300 housing vouchers for this population.
The funding for what’s known as the Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program was announced late last month and is part of the CARES Act, a large coronavirus relief package approved by Congress in March.Full article...
Gov. Ron DeSantis extends Florida’s evictions ban for one more month to July 1
Sun Sentinel, June 2, 2020, David Lyons and Brooke Baitinger
Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended a ban on residential evictions in Florida for another month.
Tenants and landlords statewide had anxiously waited for a decision from the governor on Monday as to whether he would extend a moratorium for a second time since it was invoked in early April.
He acted late Monday by setting a new expiration date for 12:01 a.m. on July 1.
Florida Housing Unveils Redesigned Affordable Rental Housing Locator
Newsletter, April 30, 2020, Florida Housing
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) unveiled the redesign of the statewide online affordable rental housing locator called FloridaHousingSearch.org. The locator is part of Florida Housing’s ongoing effort to respond to affordable rental housing needs in general as well as during natural disasters. While there has been no change to the locator’s services it provides and it is still free, the new design is more user and mobile-friendly making it easier for affordable housing developments to list their vacancies and for consumers to find them.
A New Home
Keenila Spiller, left, greets Anna Jaime, of Continental Development Holding, and Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich at a ribbon cutting for Spiller’s new affordable rental home in Fort Lauderdale. Continental Development Holding, a newly launched Miami-based developer, plans to build more affordable housing units throughout the tricounty area, including single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily homes and duplexes in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Hallandale in 2020.
Beatrice Bray and Spiller stand in Spiller’s new affordable rental home in Fort Lauderdale.
Photos courtesy of: Susan Stocker/Sun Sentinel photos