January 7, 2016
Members of the Sadowski Housing Coalition gathered at the Florida Realtors’ Association in Tallahassee on January 7 to implore Florida’s legislators, “Don’t sweep housing trust funds” because “Home Matters.”
The Sadowski Coalition is a statewide organization comprised of diverse groups, including the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, that recognize the need for, and value of, ensuring adequate housing for Florida’s citizens. Ingrid Delgado, FCCB’s associate for social concerns, explains that “used properly, the trust funds provide assistance to vulnerable populations who most need help.” In so doing, the affordable housing opportunities help “both the individual and the community.”
The Sadowski Act, passed in 1992, created a dedicated revenue source for two housing trust funds: the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL). Through documentary stamps on real estate transactions, this act provides funding for construction and rehabilitation of affordable ownership housing, down payment assistance, and limited rental development to assist the disabled, elderly, veterans, and others in need of housing assistance.
Senator Bill Montford (D-Quincy) expressed his support for spending housing monies only on housing initiatives, citing his particular desire to ensure that children are not living in substandard, deplorable, or unacceptable conditions.
The Coalition is not asking for “extra” money; they are simply reminding legislators that during these times when there is no budget crisis, affordable housing funds should not be swept to general revenue. Rather, they should be used for their intended purpose – improving Florida lives and communities – through improved housing opportunities.