TALLAHASSEE – July 30, 2012 -
CS/HB 249, a bill sponsored by Rep. Leonard Bembry (D-Greenville), to assist senior affordable housing communities was signed by Governor Rick Scott. The new law exempts Florida’s affordable housing communities for seniors from wasteful, duplicative and unnecessary state inspections and licensing fees.
Today there are approximately 298 affordable housing communities for seniors in Florida that are financed, insured or subsidized by US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which serve the extremely low, very low and low income seniors. Because these buildings are subsidized or financed by HUD, they are held to strict federal standards with tight regulations. There is also a state inspection of these buildings conducted by the Division of Hotel and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). The state inspection is duplicative of the two thorough inspections already being conducted by HUD.
Representative Bembry’s bill will result in exempting these affordable housing communities from the extra DBPR inspections. “During these extremely challenging economic times, our state must find ways to support the businesses of Florida. One way is to eliminate unnecessary, costly and time-consuming inspections, which are already being performed by other agencies” said Bembry.
Bembry stressed the importance of removing the unnecessary and duplicative inspections, stating “This will free up state inspectors to target facilities that are in greater need of regulation.” Bembry then noted “the additional savings can now go back into the community to help the residents.”
With a group of supporters watching, the Governor signed CS/HB249 into law. After the bill was signed, several guests were presented with their own signed copy of the law and a pen.