Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 8

on June 23: HB 209/SB 1084 to curb emotional support animal fraud. And although the final budget was
delayed, the version passed by both houses included
full funding for the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust
Fund for the first time in 13 years. Overall, 2020 was a
banner year for FAA and its members.

M U LT I FA M I LY

F L O R I D A

S U M M E R

2 0 2 0

Legislation Passes to Curb Emotional
Support Animal Fraud
House Bill 209 (Rep. Sam Killebrew, R-41)/Senate Bill
1084 (Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., R-36)

8

FAA encouraged passage of legislation to reduce emotional support animal (ESA) fraud by establishing protections for housing providers and penalties for those who
falsify documentation related to the need for an ESA.
SB 1084 was passed by both chambers unanimously
and signed by the governor on June 23. When the
new law goes into effect on July 1, housing providers
will be able to request reliable documentation in the
event an individual's disability-related need for an ESA
is not readily apparent. Reliable documentation may
be provided by a federal, state, or local government
agency, specified healthcare practitioners, telehealth
providers, or out-of-state practitioners who have
provided in-person care or services to the resident on
at least one occasion.
The new law also clarifies a housing provider's
right to prohibit an animal if it poses a direct
threat to the safety, health, or property of others.
Additionally, if a person requests more than one
ESA, the housing provider may request information
regarding the need for each animal.
Last but certainly not least, the new law creates
important penalties that will deter ESA fraud. A practitioner could face disciplinary action, be charged with
a criminal misdemeanor, or both for providing documentation for an ESA without personal knowledge
of the patient's disability or disability-related need or
providing false or fraudulent ESA documentation.

Sadowski is Fully Funded for the First Time
in 13 Years
FAA has urged the Legislature over the years to use the
Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund monies, which
are collected via document stamp taxes on real estate
transactions, exclusively for affordable housing programs
as intended. Unfortunately, year after year, these funds are
often diverted to other needs across the state budget. For
the first time in 13 years, the state budget that was passed
by both the House and Senate fully funds the Sadowski
Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
The $370 million in funding includes:
*	 $115 million: State Apartment Incentive Loan program (SAIL) and other affordable housing programs.

*	 $225 million: State Housing Initiatives Partnership
program (SHIP).
*	 $30 million: Hurricane Housing Recovery.
This was a significant victory for FAA and the
housing industry because these funds will play a critical
role in developing or renovating affordable housing
across the state.
It is worth noting that the Legislature's decision
to fully fund the Sadowski Affordable Housing
Trust Fund could not have come at a better time
in Florida's history. SHIP funds have already been
used to help establish rent and mortgage relief
programs at the local level across the state to assist
Floridians who were experiencing financial hardship
due to COVID-19.

Problematic Subscribing Witness
Requirement Removed
House Bill 469 (Rep. Wyman Duggan, R-15)/Senate
Bill 1224 (Sen. David Simmons, R-09)
Existing state law requires two people to witness a
landlord's signature on a lease for longer than one
year, and to sign a statement to that effect. This
"subscribing witness requirement" creates a problem
because many leases are completed online. Both
the House and the Senate passed HB 469, which
will, if signed, remove this stumbling block for the
apartment industry.

State Preempts Local Government from
Establishing Rights of Nature
Senate Bill 712 (Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-17)
Local governments across the state had been
exploring the idea of establishing "Rights of Nature"
ordinances, which provide certain legal rights and
protections to elements in the natural environment,
such as a river. Ultimately, these policies can be used
to prevent development of apartment-communities
in the future - especially concerning at a time when
Florida has a housing shortage. During the committee
process for SB 712, an environmental resource management bill, language was added to prohibit local
governments from recognizing or granting certain
legal rights to things in the natural environment. SB
712 passed both the House and Senate and, if signed
into law, will become effective on July 1.

Other FAA Priorities See Action But Do
Not Pass in 2020
Two additional FAA legislative priorities saw action
during the 2020 session but, unfortunately, were not
passed by the time the session ended. The FAA government affairs team will be evaluating the opportunity
to address these issues for the 2021 session.



Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020

Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - Cover1
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - Cover2
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 1
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 2
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 3
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 4
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 5
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 6
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 7
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 8
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 9
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 10
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 11
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 12
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 13
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 14
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 15
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 16
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 17
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 18
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 19
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 20
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 21
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 22
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 23
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 24
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 25
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 26
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 27
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 28
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 29
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 30
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 31
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 32
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - Cover3
Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/FAA/FAA_winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/FAA/FAA_fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/FAA/FAA_summer2020
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com