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Advocates Want Lawmakers To Spend Housing Trust Fund On Housing Projects

Eric Rogers

A group of Realtors, home builders and advocates for homeless families wants the money from a special housing trust fund to be used for its intended purpose. But part of the governor’s proposed tax break plan pads the budget with cash from the state’s trust funds.

Members of the Sadowski Housing Coalition want lawmakers to spend the state’s housing trust fund on housing only. Officials expect that’ll be about $3-million this year. Florida Housing Coalition President Jaimie Ross said  her group understands the government has needed to use some of the trust fund dollars in the past to balance the budget, but this year the state is expecting a surplus.

“And a very important point to remember when you’re asking what would you do with this money or that money---this is a dedicated revenue source in a trust fund. We’re not asking for housing to be funded out of general revenue.  We’re asking that the money that has been statutorily dedicated for housing be used for housing in a year when we have plenty of money to do so,” Ross said.

Ross said last year lawmakers swept all the money from the trust fund. The Legislature did appropriate funds from a settlement deal for housing, but Ross said that hasn’t solved the state’s problems. Officials report they’ve got long waitlists full of names of people hoping for housing assistance.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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