Affording a place to live in an area that is attracting lots of new residents from all over the world, such as Hillsborough County, can be difficult, but there are state and local agencies with programs that can help.
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) was established in 1980 by the Florida Legislature to manage and develop programs to ensure a variety of housing is available to meet the needs of Sunshine State residents. The agency’s work involves spending state and federal tax dollars.
One of the main functions of the FHFC is to manage and distribute money the Florida Legislature has allocated for various housing programs.
For example, funding available through the Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program provides down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time homebuyers, especially educators and first responders, employed full-time with a Florida-based employer. The FHFC also has programs to work directly with developers to build workforce housing. One affordable housing project featured on FHFC social media is the $6.5 million in funding resources provided for the recently opened Landon Preserve Apartments complex in Brandon. There are also programs which assist renters and families looking for housing options that are appropriate for individuals with disabilities or special needs.
In Hillsborough County, the Housing Finance Authority supports the housing needs of local residents, much like the FHFC does statewide.
The HFA was established in 1985 to address many of the same issues of housing availability and its cost that exist today. The authority does so by offering incentives to private developers and working with lenders who agree to build affordable housing or facilitate financing. There are also programs to assist first-time homebuyers and renters.
Mark Hendrickson is the executive director of the HFA, and in an email he provided an example of what the agency can do to help residents looking for a place to live.
“We have an ongoing program for first-time homebuyers which has (currently) a 6.625% 30-year fixed mortgage rate, $25,000 of down payment assistance, and a federal tax credit equal to 20% of the interest paid each year,” he wrote.
There are seven members who are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners serving on the HFA.