Should the Doc stamp money collected for housing only be used for housing? Florida Realtors members think so, and the Association fully supports efforts to change the Florida Constitution. But this petition will require nearly 1 million signatures – including yours.
ORLANDO, Florida – The concept is simple: “Housing Fund for Housing”.
But the effort is complicated, and Realtors® across Florida now have the ability to codify housing benefits into Florida’s constitution. However, the hassle requires work from every broker in the state, and that starts with signing a petition.
In theory, the 1992 Sadowski Act created an affordable housing support scheme where some of the documentary brand money – raised on Florida real estate sales – goes directly to affordable housing efforts.
In practice it looks different. Over the years Florida lawmakers have “swept” $ 2.3 billion out of the money for affordable housing and invested it in general income, with the money largely being used for other government expenditures.
Year after year, Florida Realtors® campaigns for affordable housing and calls on the legislature not to use the money from the Doc stamps for other purposes. But during the 2021 session, lawmakers broke the problem when they created a new law to cut funding by 50% permanently.
Florida real estate agents decided to take action by introducing a constitutional amendment that would include “housing funds for housing” in the Florida constitution. If 60% of voters vote in the 2022 election, Florida’s housing market could have a steady and reliable source of income to help first-time home buyers like nurses, firefighters, and teachers.
The challenge of changing the constitution
The first step was completed with the creation of Floridians for Housing, a Florida Realtors-funded Political Action Committee (PAC) that oversees efforts to promote the project, collect signatures for petitions, and create a path to the 2022 vote . The campaign officially began on Monday, June 28, 2021, and a copy of the full proposal will be posted on the Florida Division of Elections website.
Step Two: The Florida Supreme Court must review and approve the proposed amendment language. But to get there, 225,000 signatures must first be collected from registered voters.
Step Three: Once the court approves the change language, Floridians for Housing must collect more than 1 million signatures from registered voters. To reach this level, state brokers and agents must not only sign and return a petition, but also advocate their industry and collect additional signatures from family, friends, and customers.
Collect, sign and send petitions
Petitions can be downloaded from the Floridians for Housing website or directly here: https://floridarealtors.org/petition
Petitions must be physically signed and completed to qualify. After printing and signing, they must be stamped and sent by post. While the petition lists the Florida Realtors Orlando address as a sponsor, send all completed petitions to:
Florida for housing
3515 NW 98th Street, Ste. 200
Gainesville, FL 32606
Over the years “billions of dollars have been siphoned off trust funds to be used for purposes other than housing,” said Cheryl Lambert, president of Florida Realtors. “Getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot and getting it passed by the electorate is a tough job that requires significant resources, time and the commitment of all of our members – but we have the resources and the passion.”
It is time to act for Florida realtors. Sign and share the petition today.
© 2021 Florida Realtors®