Florida Senate - 2013 SB 1852 By the Committee on Appropriations 576-03532-13 20131852__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to funding from the National Mortgage 3 Settlement; providing an appropriation from the Local 4 Government Housing Trust Fund and the State Housing 5 Trust Fund to the Department of Economic Opportunity 6 for specified purposes; providing appropriations from 7 the General Revenue Fund to the State Court System for 8 specified purposes; providing appropriations from the 9 General Revenue Fund to the Department of Legal 10 Affairs, Office of the Attorney General, for specified 11 purposes and providing legislative findings; providing 12 that the appropriations of this act are contingent 13 upon the deposit of a specified sum into the state 14 treasury as a result of a specified consent judgment; 15 providing an effective date. 16 17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 18 19 Section 1. (1) The nonrecurring sum of $70 million is 20 appropriated from the Local Government Housing Trust Fund to the 21 Department of Economic Opportunity for the 2013-2014 fiscal year 22 for transfer to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) 23 to fund the State Housing Initiative Program (SHIP). The FHFC 24 shall allocate the funding to all eligible counties and cities. 25 Except as otherwise specified in this section, local governments 26 must use this funding according to the SHIP statute and rules 27 and within the parameters of their adopted local housing 28 assistance plan. 29 (2) All funding appropriated in this section must be 30 targeted for one or more of the following strategies: 31 (a) Rehabilitating or modifying owner-occupied houses, 32 including blighted homes or neighborhoods. 33 (b) Assisting with purchases of existing housing, with or 34 without rehabilitation. 35 (c) Providing housing counseling services. 36 (d) Providing lease-purchase assistance. 37 (e) Implementing strategies approved by FHFC which are 38 related to assisting households and communities impacted by 39 foreclosures, using existing housing stock. 40 (3) Of the funding provided in this section, each local 41 government must use a minimum of 20 percent of its allocation to 42 serve persons with special needs as defined in s. 420.0004, 43 Florida Statutes. Before this portion of the allocation is 44 released by FHFC, a local government must submit an existing or 45 new local housing assistance plan strategy for this purpose to 46 the FHFC for approval to ensure that it meets these 47 specifications. The first priority of these special needs funds 48 must be to use them for persons with developmental, hearing, 49 visual, or mobility disabilities, with an emphasis on home 50 modifications, including technological enhancements and devices, 51 which will allow homeowners to remain independent in their own 52 homes and maintain their homeownership. 53 (4) Local governments may not use more than 3 percent of 54 their allocations under this section for administrative costs. 55 Section 2. (1) The nonrecurring sum of $65 million is 56 appropriated from the State Housing Trust Fund to the Department 57 of Economic Opportunity for the 2013-2014 fiscal year for 58 transfer to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) to 59 fund the State Apartment Incentive Loan Program (SAIL). 60 (2) Each SAIL development that receives funds under this 61 section must include up to 15 percent but not less than 5 62 percent of its units designed, constructed, and targeted for 63 individuals with developmental, hearing, visual, or mobility 64 disabilities. Each development shall be required to enter into 65 agreements with the local Center for Independent Living, Agency 66 for Persons with Disabilities, or other such agency approved by 67 FHFC, for the purpose of coordinating services and housing for 68 individuals with disabilities. 69 (3) Affordable housing units in each development which are 70 in addition to those required under subsection (2) shall provide 71 reduced-rent units to serve tenants who are elderly, as defined 72 in s. 420.0004, Florida Statutes, and tenants who are extremely 73 low-income persons (ELI), as defined in s. 420.0004, Florida 74 Statutes. To the extent possible, ELI units should be part of 75 FHFC’s existing Link Initiative in which developers set aside 76 units for special needs households, including households with 77 persons with disabilities, homeless families, youth aging out of 78 foster care, frail elders, and survivors of domestic violence 79 who are receiving community-based supportive services and who 80 are referred by a supportive services agency in the community 81 where the property is located. 82 Section 3. The nonrecurring sum of $3 million is 83 appropriated from the State Housing Trust Fund to the Department 84 of Economic Opportunity for the 2013-2014 fiscal year for 85 transfer to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation for 86 administrative expenses associated with implementing the 87 provisions of this act. 88 Section 4. The nonrecurring sum of $10 million is 89 appropriated from the State Housing Trust Fund to the Department 90 of Economic Opportunity for the 2013-2014 fiscal year for 91 transfer to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) to 92 fund a competitive grant program to provide housing for homeless 93 persons. The FHFC shall award funds on a competitive basis to 94 private nonprofit organizations to purchase and renovate 95 existing houses to be used by extremely-low-income homeless 96 individuals. Funds may also be awarded to private nonprofit 97 organizations to construct small specialty housing of 10 units 98 or fewer for homeless families. 99 Section 5. The nonrecurring sum of $5,262,579 is 100 appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the State Court 101 System for the 2013-2014 fiscal year to provide technology 102 solutions that expedite foreclosure cases through the judicial 103 process. Such technology solutions must enable judges and staff 104 to effectively use electronic documents when disposing of 105 foreclosure cases, produce orders electronically, provide for 106 electronic calendaring, serve orders electronically, and 107 generate case management reports. All technology enhancements to 108 expedite the mortgage foreclosure cases must be completed in 109 accordance with standards set by the Florida Court Technology 110 Commission regarding functionality as outlined in the Case 111 Processing Application Standards. 112 Section 6. The nonrecurring sum of $9,908,948 is 113 appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the State Court 114 System for the 2013-2014 fiscal year to provide supplemental 115 resources, including, but not limited to, additional senior 116 judge days and temporary case management staff in the trial 117 courts to reduce the backlog of pending foreclosure cases. The 118 nonrecurring sum of $9,908,947 is appropriated from the General 119 Revenue Fund to the State Court System for the 2014-2015 fiscal 120 year for the same purpose. 121 Section 7. The nonrecurring sum of $7.5 million is 122 appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the State Court 123 System for the clerks of the court for the 2013-2014 fiscal year 124 to enhance levels of service to assist and support the courts in 125 expediting the processing of backlogged foreclosure cases. The 126 nonrecurring sum of $7.5 million is appropriated from the 127 General Revenue Fund to the State Court System for the clerks of 128 the court for the 2014-2015 fiscal year for the same purpose. 129 Section 8. The nonrecurring sum of $10 million is 130 appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the Department of 131 Legal Affairs, Office of the Attorney General, for the 2013-2014 132 fiscal year to contract with regional legal aid service 133 providers to provide legal aid services to low-income and 134 moderate-income homeowners facing foreclosure. Administrative 135 costs or fees may not be collected or used by the Office of the 136 Attorney General, any association, or any foundation for 137 providing such services with the funds appropriated in this 138 section. 139 Section 9. The Legislature finds that there is a need for a 140 promotional campaign to increase consumer awareness of 141 affordable housing availability and housing assistance 142 opportunities as outlined in this act. To this end, the Office 143 of the Attorney General may establish, coordinate, and promote 144 such an advertising campaign, which may include public relations 145 activities and contracting with media representatives for the 146 purpose of dispersing promotional materials and providing 147 opportunities for consumer assistance. The nonrecurring sum of 148 $2 million is appropriated from the General Revenue Fund to the 149 Department of Legal Affairs, Office of the Attorney General, for 150 the 2013-2014 fiscal year for this purpose. 151 Section 10. The appropriations in this act are contingent 152 upon the deposit of $200,080,474 into the state treasury from 153 the escrow account created as a result of the consent judgment 154 entered into by the Florida Attorney General on April 4, 2012, 155 in the case of United States of America v. Bank of America 156 Corp., No. 305 12-0361-RMC, in the United States District Court 157 for the District of Columbia. Of the $200,080,474, the following 158 amounts shall be deposited into the specified funds in the state 159 treasury: $70 million shall be deposited into the Local 160 Government Housing Trust Fund in the Department of Economic 161 Opportunity; $78 million shall be deposited into the State 162 Housing Trust Fund in the Department of Economic Opportunity; 163 and $52,080,474 shall be deposited into the General Revenue 164 Fund. 165 Section 11. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.