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Florida Senate committee OK’s housing bill

Florida Senate committee OK’s housing bill

A bill to expand housing affordability is one step closer to a vote of the Florida Senate.

The Senate’s transportation committee voted on Jan. 26 to advance a bill (SB 962) that would allow local governments to approve residential development projects on any parcel zoned for commercial or industrial use, regardless of zoning ordinances, if a portion of the project is affordable.

Sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Bradley, the proposal expands on a 2020 law addressing housing affordability, and allows for mixed-use residential projects.

The bill also clarifies new and existing provisions, allowing affordable housing projects to circumvent comprehensive plans and other ordinances.

“The goal is to provide as much flexibility in local communities, said Bradley. “Affordable housing needs are not as consistent through the state, and local governments are in the best position to assess this need in their communities.”

Sen. Lori Berman expressed some concern over the bill because did not specify how much affordable housing would be, in terms of threshold and qualifying.

The bill cleared the committee on an 8-0 vote. It now goes to the Senate rules committee, before heading to the Senate floor for a vote.

“We’re definitely on the right track in doing everything we can at the state level to move forward with affordable housing, as we all know it’s a major issue out there,” said Sen. Gayle Harrell, chairwoman of the Senate transportation committee.

A similar House bill (HB 981) is scheduled to be heard by the House state affairs committee at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

The Greater Naples Chamber has identified housing affordability as a top public policy priority. We regularly hear from employers who say the lack of affordable, workforce housing is a barrier to recruiting and retaining a talented workforce.

For more information about the Chamber’s public policy priorities, visit

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