2016 Current Housing Policy Priority Areas – Summary
Increase Funding for Affordable Housing
SFCDC advocates for the increase of affordable housing funding at local, state and federal levels. SFCDC recommends:
- Funding the Miami-Dade County Affordable Housing Trust Fund (established in 2007). The County should adopt a similar funding strategy employed by the City of Miami and allow developers to pay into the AHTF to receive floor area ratio, number of units and height bonuses. The County should require that 100% of the trust fund dollars be used for affordable housing and that at least 30% be dedicated to funding ELI units.
- Supporting full funding of the State Housing Trust Fund (Sadowski Trust Fund).
- Supporting full funding of the National Housing Trust Fund.
- Supporting Miami Coalition’s effort to establish new funding for extremely low income households (ELI) - Miami Homes for All
Increase Mixed Income Housing Opportunities
SFCDC advocates for the development of mixed-income housing in Miami-Dade County. This includes the development of housing available for households from the extremely low to moderate income/workforce. The County should have an adequate supply of housing units to address the various income needs in the community. SFCDC supports increasing mixed-income housing opportunities through:
- Supporting the change of Miami-Dade’s voluntary inclusionary policy to a mandatory inclusionary policy and one that increases incentives for developers to create lower income housing units in mixed-income communities. (Policy currently supports housing for 65% AMI to 140% AMI). SFCDC advocates for new inclusive zoning laws for Miami-Dade County, City of Miami and all other Miami-Dade County municipalities.
- Increasing market-rate developer incentives in RFAs to encourage the production of more affordable units.
- Amending Miami-Dade County’s infill housing initiative program to allow for the forgiveness of County liens that infect privately owned vacant lots being acquired by qualified developers for the construction of affordable housing.
- Increasing the number of ELI state and local level funded units.
- Developing policies that encourage developers to contribute to an Affordable Housing Trust Fund in exchange for concessions. Limits on height, floor area ratio, and parking requirements have negatively impacted the ability to finalize deals and build housing.
Increase Non-Profit Emphasis in Miami-Dade County RFA Process
Nonprofit community development entities play an integral role in the development of affordable housing and comprehensive community development throughout Miami-Dade County. SFCDC advocates for the increased emphasis of meaningful non-profit participation in affordable housing and community development through the following:
- Create a non-profit set-aside for rental deals in the annual RFA process that establishes a small rental set-aside for projects of 50 units or less. The set-aside would be at least 20% of the total Surtax and HOME allocation and limited to nonprofit developers.
- Establish a Miami-Dade County pilot program for homeownership deals that allows a portion of Surtax subsidy (based on the amount the buyer qualifies for) to be available to developers prior to closing. If the project is more than one unit, when the nonprofit developer pre-sells 50% or more of the units to qualified buyers, the Surtax funds will be released. The released Surtax funds would be used to leverage construction loans from financial institutions and later to provide soft second mortgages to the buyers. Funds would also be used to cover the gap between cost to develop and the selling price or appraised value.
- Encourage policies that require for-profits to establish substantive relationships with nonprofit partners. For-profits with more technical expertise and capital should be required to offer more than a short term benefit of a developer’s fee by including true material participation, business training and capacity building into the partnerships. Creative for-profit/nonprofit ventures are good business models for both.
Streamline Permitting and Platting Process for Affordable Housing Development
SFCDC advocates for a streamlined permitting and platting process. Currently the process takes far too long, often more than 1 year. SFCDC recommends administrative changes be adopted to expedite the platting to a 3-4 month process. Similarly for the permitting process that delays projects, we recommend that the City and County consider hiring more plans processors and establish time minimum frames for review. Also, allow private providers to process the complete plans (including fire, zoning, and public works).