AHAC is statutorily required to engage in certain specific activities. AHAC must: 1) review established policies and procedures, ordinances, and land development regulations; 2) create exceptions applicable to affordable housing; 3) adopt new policies or amendments to the local comprehensive plan and local housing assistance plan of the appointing local government and recommend specific actions or initiatives to encourage or facilitate affordable housing.
Section 420.9076(2), F.S. stipulates that AHAC must have at least eight (8) members representing at least six (6) categories of experience identified in the statute. However, local governments may elect to have up to eleven (11) committee members. Currently, the ordinance authorizing AHAC states that the committee is comprised of 18 voting members. The Administration recommends reducing membership to 11 voting members, the maximum stipulated in the revised statute.One member of the Committee shall be the Mayor or a member of the City Commission, appointed at-large by a majority vote of the Mayor and City Commission.
The remaining ten (10) members shall be appointed at-large by a majority vote of the Mayor and City Commission and must include members from at least six (6) of the following categories:
(a) Citizen who is actively engaged in the residential home building industry in connection with affordable housing;
(b) Citizen who is actively engaged in the banking or mortgage banking industry in connection with affordable housing;
(c) Citizen who is a representative of those areas of labor actively engaged in home building in connection with affordable housing;
(d) Citizen who is actively engaged as an advocate for low-income persons in connection with affordable housing;
(e) Citizen who is actively engaged as a for-profit provider of affordable housing;
(f) Citizen who is actively engaged as a not-for-profit provider of affordable housing;
(g) Citizen who is actively engaged as a real estate professional in connection with affordable housing;
(h) Citizen who is actively serving on the local planning agency pursuant to Florida Statutes, Sec. 163.3174;
(i) Citizen who is residing within the jurisdiction of the local governing body making the appointments;
(j) Citizen who represents employers within the jurisdiction; and
(k) Citizen who represents essential services personnel, as defined in the local housing assistance plan.
House Bill 1339 requires that effective October 1, 2020, each AHAC contain one locally elected official from each County or Municipality. More so, the elected official’s participation is critical to the City’s allocation and program compliance. The local elected official or elected designee must attend biannual regional workshops convened and administered under the Affordable Housing Catalyst Program. If the locally elected official or designee fails to attend three (3) consecutive regional workshops, the corporation may withhold funds pending the person's attendance at the next regularly scheduled biannual meeting.
Additionally, House Bill 1339 amends reporting requirements and replaces the triennial report with an annual report. At a minimum, this report, which is compiled in conjunction with the City’s AHAC and approved by the City Commission, is subsequently submitted to FHFC, and includes recommendations on the implementation of affordable housing incentives in our community.