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Florida Housing Summit Recap


May 9, 2024

Drawing an array of elected officials and state policy makers as well as public and private sector stakeholders, Tampa Bay Builder’s Association presented  Florida Policy Project’s Housing Summitt and delivered a robust and informative discussion about many of the issues affecting housing development, including affordable housing and relevant economic implications.

Former state senator Jeff Brandes leads the Policy Project, and it recently released a report touting the concept of affordable housing vouchers to address the fact the current crisis conditions have pushed home ownership and rental housing beyond the reach of millions of Floridians. Other key topics also included accessory dwelling units (ADUs), inclusionary zoning, build-to-rent (BTR) developments, and the reduction of minimum lot sizes.

A consistent theme of collaboration emerged throughout the day plenary and break-out sessions. Many of the speakers noted that local and state governments must work with the private sector to address housing supply issues such as indicating that time and again by many that neither the public and private sectors have proven they can do affordable housing on their own – and there is no silver bullet.  Many panelists further agreed that it is important to view affordable housing not simply as a way to help families but as a means of igniting and sustaining the economy.

“If you don’t have enough affordable housing to support the jobs that are making your economy run, your economy is not going to be able to grow or expand,” said Blue Sky executive vice president Scott Macdonald.

State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, Spring Hill, touted new Senate Bill 812, which would require certain governing bodies to create programs to expedite the process for issuing residential building permits before a final plat is recorded. Ingoglia said the new bill could also introduce more products into the market, helping alleviate some of Florida’s housing pressures.

Another highlight of the summit was a panel discussion on local housing solutions, during which Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse emphasized the importance of removing minimum parking requirements and allowing more by-right developments. He pointed out that the comprehensive plans and land development regulations are outdated and have not kept up with current needs, creating uncertainty for developers.

Sen. Ingoglia and Commissioner Kruse joined several other elected officials in attendance, including State Rep. Lindsey Cross, St. Petersburg, State Rep. Linda Chaney, St. Pete Beach, Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, and St. Petersburg City Councilmember Gina Driscoll.


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