Affordable Housing in Florida: Why Haven’t Florida’s Growth Management Laws Met the Challenge of Adequately Housing All Its Citizens?

Affordable Housing in Florida: Why Haven’t Florida’s Growth Management Laws Met the Challenge of Adequately Housing All Its Citizens?. September 28, 2006. 1985 Growth Management Act and Aftermath. Focus on state’s rapid growth, protecting fragile environment, meeting infrastructure needs

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Affordable Housing in Florida: Why Haven’t Florida’s Growth Management Laws Met the Challenge of Adequately Housing All Its Citizens? September 28, 2006 1985 Growth Management Act and Aftermath
  • Focus on state’s rapid growth, protecting fragile environment, meeting infrastructure needs
  • However, there is significant housing element requirement
  • Florida Housing Element Provisions
  • 1. The provision of housing for all current and anticipated future residents of the jurisdiction...
  • 2. The provision of adequate sites for future housing, including housing for low-income, very low-income and moderate-income families, mobile homes, and group home facilities and foster care facilities, with supporting infrastructure and public facilities...
  • 3. The creation or preservation of affordable housing to minimize the need for additional local services and avoid the concentration of affordable housing units only in specific areas of the jurisdiction (Florida Statutes, Chapter 163.3177.6(f)1).
  • Implies adequate mix of low and higher density housing, zoned for both single and multifamily occupancy.
  • Florida Housing Element Provisions
  • Furthermore, Florida’s Growth Management law encourages local jurisdictions to adopt “…innovative land development regulations which include provisions such as transfer of development rights, incentive and inclusionary zoning, planned-unit development, impact fees, and performance zoning (Florida Statutes, Chapter 163.3202(3)) (emphasis added).
  • of the innovative land development regulations named in Florida’s Growth Management law, inclusionary zoning is the only tool that pertains directly to the development of affordable housing.
  • In a sense, therefore, the Florida Growth Management law privileges inclusionary zoning by specifically encouraging it as a tool for meeting the obligation of a jurisdiction to comprehensively plan for occupancy of all income groups in a dispersed, rather than a concentrated development pattern.
  • Purpose of Presentation
  • What is the role of inclusionary zoning in addressing affordable housing?
  • Florida is an important test case for inclusionary zoning.
  • But this and the state’s GM law begs the question of why so little inclusionary housing in Florida.
  • Is the climate for inclusionary zoning in Florida changing?
  • Inclusionary Zoning: Advantages
  • Straightforward mechanism for assuring that growth includes affordable dwelling units
  • Higher overall densities under IZ enable compact development, thereby meeting a key objective of growth management
  • by providing affordable housing in all new developments, lower income and minority households are less likely to be segregated
  • by relying on the private or non-profit sector to actually build affordable housing, inclusionary zoning can foster an effective collaboration between government and the non-government sector.
  • Inclusionary Zoning: Disadvantages
  • belief by developers that inclusionary zoning adds to the cost of the market-rate units that are not sold or rented as affordable housing.
  • Inclusionary Zoning Overall
  • Overall, after over 30 years of existence, the concept of inclusionary zoning still has much to promise, but has been somewhat disappointing in its impact.
  • To some degree, this reflects the fact that in spite of the success in Montgomery County, Maryland, many of the 600 or so jurisdictions with inclusionary zoning produce relatively few units (Porter 2004a).
  • But even more distressing is the fact that relatively few jurisdictions have even adopted inclusionary zoning laws.
  • Most jurisdictions adopting inclusionary zoning are concentrated in a few states in the northeast and the west—California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey
  • But Inclusionary Zoning has special importance in Florida
  • Within the overall context of growth management in Florida, as well as other states or jurisdictions, which have adopted growth management, inclusionary zoning is especially important, because it has the potential for mitigating the impact that growth controls have on housing costs and housing affordability.
  • Despite this importance, very little inclusionary zoning in Florida—Why?
  • in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the state played a very limited role in making certain that these plans seriously and carefully outlined goals and strategies that would lead to decent, affordable housing for all residents.
  • A 1993 study of ten representative jurisdictions’ housing elements, each of which had been approved by the 1985 Growth Management Act’s implementing agency, the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA), shows that none of the ten housing elements featured bold strategies for addressing housing affordability problems (Connerly and Muller 1993)
  • Similar observations about housing elements and their implementation were also reported by the Affordable Housing Study Commission (1999) (“...many local governments adopt vague goals, objectives and policies that do not provide accountability “ and a 1999 Miami Herald series on affordable housing in South Florida
  • Despite this importance, very little inclusionary zoning in Florida—Why?
  • While the Florida legislature has provided a growth management framework that can incorporate both affordable housing and even encourage inclusionary zoning,
  • without a mandate to assure affordable housing, local jurisdictions lack the incentive to adopt inclusionary zoning or other affordable housing strategies that assure that affordable housing is made available in a fashion that is commensurate with growing population demand.
  • Despite this importance, very little inclusionary zoning in Florida—Why?
  • The state has also failed to push hard on another key growth management tool that also has an implicit inclusionary zoning provision.
  • The DRI statute requires regional planning agencies to consider whether “the development will favorably or adversely affect the ability of people to find adequate housing reasonably accessible to their places of employment… Adequate housing means housing that is available for occupancy and that is not substandard (Florida Statutes 380.06(12)(a)3).”
  • The DRI statute is also consistent with inclusionary zoning in that it requires that affordable housing be located reasonably accessible to job-generating, mixed-use development. Under the DRI statute a large scale mixed-use development located in the outer fringes of a metropolitan area could be required to provide affordable housing nearby.
  • Despite implementation of the DRI Affordable Housing Rule throughout the state, very little affordable housing has resulted.
  • Inclusionary Zoning in Florida—Is the Climate Changing?
  • Only one jurisdiction in Florida, Tallahassee, has adopted an inclusionary zoning ordinance—took effect October 1, 2005
  • Originally adopted in Comprehensive Plan as Policy 1.2.4 in July 1990, but no LDRs written
  • Tallahassee-Leon County
  • By 1996, Tallahassee-Leon County EAR commented on impact of economic segregation: “…segregating our population by income, leading to inequities in schools and the isolation of different socio-economic groups from one another which can lead to an ‘us versus them’ mentality”
  • EAR’s recommendations were influenced in part by the consultancy of David Rusk, former mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who has published widely on the impact of economic segregation on urban vitality
  • Tallahassee-Leon County
  • EAR recommendations adopted by both commissions in 1997 and followed up by both commissions adopting in July 1998 an amendment to the comprehensive plan and Housing Element Policy 1.2.4
  • planning staff recommended and commissions adopted principle that to ensure implementation the revised inclusionary zoning policy be backed by a public ordinance that detailed how the policy would be implemented
  • Tallahassee-Leon County
  • From 1998 progress slowed—took two years to draft an ordinance
  • Draft ordinance taken to county first—appeared ready for adoption in February 2001, but county commission voted to defer consideration pending further public hearings at which real estate community increasingly voiced opposition
  • In May 2001, county commission appointed citizens committee
  • In May 2002, committee reported split recommendations
  • After several more public hearings in which development community opposed IZ, county commission in May 2004 voted to delete housing element requirement for inclusionary zoning and substituted policy to establish voluntary incentives for inclusionary housing.
  • Tallahassee-Leon County
  • In December 2003, as the county announced its intention not to adopt mandatory IZ, city directed planning staff to prepare an ordinance.
  • Increased urgency expressed by city manager and senior city commissioner as they learned that the old program under the 1990 housing element was no longer considered enforceable
  • Tallahassee-Leon County
  • After public hearings in late 2004 and early 2005, in which real estate community expressed dislike of inclusionary zoning, city adopted IZ in April 2005, effective October 1, 2005
  • Tallahassee-Leon County
  • Modest IZ:
  • 50 unit threshold
  • 10 percent set aside
  • Liberal buyout option
  • Comparatively mild long term affordability requirement
  • Significant incentives for developers
  • Significant Developer Incentives
  • a 25 percent density bonus,
  • alleviation of setback and buffering requirements,
  • expedited development review, and
  • an exemption for inclusionary from transportation concurrency requirements.
  • In addition, developers are permitted to suggest other incentives that they may feel are needed for their development.
  • Like the Talking Dog
  • However, like the talking dog who doesn’t talk very well, the miracle is that he can talk at all
  • Same with Tallahassee—the miracle that it was passed at all
  • Although Tallahassee’s inclusionary zoning ordinance is relatively modest in its requirements and generous in its incentives, the fact is that it was the first inclusionary zoning ordinance adopted south of North Carolina and one of relatively few ordinances adopted outside the big four states of California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
  • The importance of Tallahassee’s inclusionary zoning ordinance, therefore, does not lie in its boldness, but in the fact that it was adopted at all.
  • Why Was It Passed
  • Rapidly rising home prices were a factor
  • State of Florida was not
  • But despite opposition, real estate community was not united
  • Quietly several important developers came forward and worked with the city on the ordinance—this resulted in the significant development incentives
  • Consequently, the city commissioners knew that the ordinance could work, thereby discrediting the opposition from the development community
  • Development community also was guilty of hypocrisy—in the name of affordable housing wanting more land for development, but opposing the inclusionary zoning ordinance.
  • Planning staff and leadership was very important as well for dogged determination
  • Since Passage
  • Florida Home Builders Sue Tallahassee in February 2006
  • Since Tallahassee’s adoption in fall 2005, Palm Beach County adopted an interim inclusionary ordinance that requires seven percent of all new projects larger than 10 units to be affordable (South Florida Business Journal 2006).
  • Six other jurisdictions in the state, including Sarasota, Miami-Dade County, and Pinellas County, also have inclusionary zoning ordinances under consideration (Tampa Tribune 2006).
  • Will this trend continue or will law suit and/or burst of housing price bubble affect interest?
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