Author Topic: City seeks $8 million from Legislature for downtown housing  (Read 2101 times)

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4254
Re: City seeks $8 million from Legislature for downtown housing
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2019, 11:11:27 AM »
My initial understanding was that this earmark would use monies from the general revenue fund. Given the local political establishment's will to get behind this appropriation (given the powerful presence John Rood holds over local politics), I thought that this was a shoe-in.

When I later learned that they were directing Sadowski Fund monies outside of the normal appropriation process... my thought process drastically changed.

During my time on the Times Union Editorial Board, I was very pleased to have the paper publish a position to ensure that Sadowski Fund monies are used for their original intent- ensuring that working families in Florida continue to have access to workforce housing. For years, the legislature had raided Sadowski Fund revenue and diverted them to all sorts of special interest projects that had absolutely nothing to do with housing:

https://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20190611/tuesday-editorial-desantis-should-approve-affordable-housing-bill

Governor DeSantis deserves a ton of credit for not only protecting the Sadowski Fund, but ensuring that the process to access those funds are not corrupted by political whims.

To Vestcor's credit, they have been very successful at submitting successful bids for affordable housing tax credits in Jacksonville's urban core over the last 5 years. For a very long time, Jacksonville's pre-consolidated city limits (the urban core) had gotten the shaft and did not receive our fair share of those dollars.

For those interested in learning about the process for financing affordable housing projects using low-income housing tax credits, a portion of this article gives a good explanation/chart:

https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/affordable-housing-development-proposed-in-brooklyn-page-2/

When The Lofts at Brooklyn break ground later this year, that will be Vestcor's sixth affordable housing project to go up in the urban core
and the fourth within DIA's boundaries, to have been constructed since 2014.

tufsu1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11005
Re: City seeks $8 million from Legislature for downtown housing
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2019, 05:11:27 PM »

During my time on the Times Union Editorial Board, I was very pleased to have the paper publish a position to ensure that Sadowski Fund monies are used for their original intent- ensuring that working families in Florida continue to have access to workforce housing. For years, the legislature had raided Sadowski Fund revenue and diverted them to all sorts of special interest projects that had absolutely nothing to do with housing:

Unfortunately the Legislature sweeps money from the Sadowski Trust Fund every year...and did so again this year.

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4254
Re: City seeks $8 million from Legislature for downtown housing
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2019, 08:27:46 AM »

During my time on the Times Union Editorial Board, I was very pleased to have the paper publish a position to ensure that Sadowski Fund monies are used for their original intent- ensuring that working families in Florida continue to have access to workforce housing. For years, the legislature had raided Sadowski Fund revenue and diverted them to all sorts of special interest projects that had absolutely nothing to do with housing:

Unfortunately the Legislature sweeps money from the Sadowski Trust Fund every year...and did so again this year.

This year marked a change. Desantis' budget did not raid the Sadowsky Fund, whatsoever. That's a stark difference from Rick Scott's budgets which continuously diverted Sadowsky Fund monies into the general fund.

Ultimately the Legislature raided the fund, but they diverted far less money from the fund than they have in year's past. Complicating things was that the majority of the diverted funds went to pay for appropriations specific to panhandle projects related to Hurricane Michael. 

Taking a step back from dogmatic theory, this year's budget signaled signs of hope for the preservation of the Sadowsky Fund going forward. For a Legislature that for the better part of a decade has been raiding these funds like a bunch of drunks at a nickel beer night, they now are contending with a governor that has a philosophical difference about the appropriateness of these continued actions.  While not perfect, more money was allocated to affordable housing in this year's state budget than has been the norm in the past. To me, that's a sign of optimism.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 08:30:31 AM by fieldafm »

jaxnyc79

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 609
Re: City seeks $8 million from Legislature for downtown housing
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2019, 08:30:16 AM »
Quote
"My view on the housing fund is that’s never been done before -- earmark specific projects," DeSantis said when asked specifically about that veto. "I appreciate what Jacksonville is doing. I think that if they revitalize downtown, that would be a neat thing to do and more affordable housing would be good. But I also know that Miami has acute problems. Fort Lauderdale has acute problems. And if someone was to ask me, 'Why Jacksonville earmark but not Miami or Fort Lauderdale?' I wouldn’t have had an answer for that. So I think we should just stick with the process. I was leery about setting a new precedent and I think we’ll probably be better off."

^This is the reason he gave for denying the funding request. It's hard to argue against his point about not wanting to set a precedent.

In the limited sample set of sound-bytes I've heard or read, DeSantis actually sounds like a decent, thoughtful guy.

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4254
Re: City seeks $8 million from Legislature for downtown housing
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2019, 08:50:18 AM »
Quote
"My view on the housing fund is that’s never been done before -- earmark specific projects," DeSantis said when asked specifically about that veto. "I appreciate what Jacksonville is doing. I think that if they revitalize downtown, that would be a neat thing to do and more affordable housing would be good. But I also know that Miami has acute problems. Fort Lauderdale has acute problems. And if someone was to ask me, 'Why Jacksonville earmark but not Miami or Fort Lauderdale?' I wouldn’t have had an answer for that. So I think we should just stick with the process. I was leery about setting a new precedent and I think we’ll probably be better off."

^This is the reason he gave for denying the funding request. It's hard to argue against his point about not wanting to set a precedent.

In the limited sample set of sound-bytes I've heard or read, DeSantis actually sounds like a decent, thoughtful guy.

He has governed much differently than the guy that used Fox News as a pulpit to wax poetically about hard-core positions.  Thus far, he deserves a thumbs up (in my opinion) because he has certainly (and pleasantly) defied my thoughts on how he would govern the State of Florida.

Selfishly, it would have been nice for Jax to get $8 million from the State to help fund the Lofts at Cathedral workforce housing project Downtown. But, its really hard to argue that setting a precedent that completely politicizes the process of funding affordable housing projects by letting earmarks circumvent the State's Qualified Allocation Process, would be somehow beneficial working families.  Selfishly (again), North Florida would probably really get the shaft in affordable housing dollars in that kind of environment as historically North Florida loses out to South Florida quite a bit when it comes to political influence within the State budget.

acme54321

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2421
Re: City seeks $8 million from Legislature for downtown housing
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2019, 09:49:32 AM »
He has governed much differently than the guy that used Fox News as a pulpit to wax poetically about hard-core positions.  Thus far, he deserves a thumbs up (in my opinion) because he has certainly (and pleasantly) defied my thoughts on how he would govern the State of Florida.

I think he's suprised a lot of people.  If he keeps it up he could be favored pretty well in the history books.

ProjectMaximus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3235
    • Firewalking Journey
Re: City seeks $8 million from Legislature for downtown housing
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2019, 02:18:06 PM »
I don't like DeSantis. What does he have against Northeast Florida? (or so it seems, I might be wrong).

I believe he met his wife in Jax and they both have ties to the area.

acme54321

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2421
Re: City seeks $8 million from Legislature for downtown housing
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2019, 03:04:31 PM »
He was born here, was in the navy here, met his wife here.  They lived in PV until his district got redrawn and then they moved down to Palm Coast to live in the district.  I don't think he has anything against North Florida.