REALTORS® take their beliefs about real estate issues such as affordable housing and vacation rental to 2018 Florida Legislative Session
When Orlando REALTORS® made their annual trek to Tallahassee back in January for Great American REALTOR® Days, they were backed by one of the state’s largest lobbies. Florida REALTORS® had already been long at work on its 2018 Florida Legislative Session priorities, which focus on the following real estate related issues:
AFFORDABLE HOUSING > Increase funding for the housing trust funds and allow the housing trust funds to help families become homeowners through public-private partnerships that give back to the community
The state and local government housing trust funds were created in the early 1990s to help Floridians in good times and bad. They are supported entirely by a portion of the doc stamp taxes charged on every real estate transaction.
For thousands of families, these funds are the only way to realize the American dream of homeownership. They also provide housing rehabilitation and rental assistance to Florida’s homeless, veterans, seniors and persons with disabilities.
Last year, the Legislature allocated $270 million for affordable housing projects, the highest funding level in a decade.
REALTORS® applaud lawmakers for their financial support. But there is still a lot more work to be done. The need for affordable housing is particularly great when you factor in the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma and the influx of Puerto Ricans to Florida following Hurricane Maria.
>State economists estimate that $314.08 million will be available for the housing trust funds in Fiscal Year 2018-19.
>If all monies collected are fully appropriated for housing, it will create nearly 32,700 jobs and $4.6 billion in positive economic impact in just one year, while creating homes that will last far into the future.
>In the past 25 years, the housing trust funds have helped more than 200,000 families.
ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS >Reduce Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse that drives up insurance premiums for property owners.
AOB allows policyholders to assign their post-loss insurance benefits to a contractor, such as a water remediation company or roofer, so the contractor can charge the insurance company for its work directly.
But a growing number of contractors have been inflating the cost of repairs. When the insurance company refuses to pay the claim, the contractor files a lawsuit. Insurers typically pay these inflated claims to avoid the high cost of litigation and pass the cost onto policyholders.