Florida lawmakers are considering a proposal that would set limits on the ability of local governments to control housing prices. The bill specifically addresses the use of price ceilings to provide affordable housing.

What led to the proposal? At the end of 2018, Miami passed an ordinance that required housing developers to include a percentage of units to accommodate low-income residents.

Critics argue the use of housing control leads to higher prices in the housing market, ultimately making housing less affordable. As a result, this local ordinance likely catalyzed this bill. Those against the bill also state it serves as a way for state lawmakers to preempt the powers of local government.

Those in favor of the proposal highlight the law puts an end to “abusive power of government to mandate” affordable housing. Instead, the lawmakers encourage cities and other local governments to use legal tools like incentives to encourage developers to include affordable housing options.

Will the proposal become law? It is still early in the process. The proposal was reviewed by the Judiciary Committee and State Affairs Committee. After some changes, the proposal passed in the Florida House of Representatives with a 72-37 vote. The bill is now under consideration by the Senate. If it passes the Senate it will move on for review by the governor.

If passed, the law will impact the negotiation process between housing developers and local government agencies. This is just one hurdle in Florida’s real estate market. As a result, those who attempt to navigate this market are wise to seek legal counsel to reduce the risk of any surprises before beginning their project.