Gubernatorial candidate Crist vows to restore housing funding if elected as governor

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 6:45 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist came to Gainesville today to explain how he plans to combat the affordable housing issue many Floridians are facing.

If elected, he would make his “Affordable Florida For All” plan a reality.

The policy would repeal the law that cut a housing fund, called the Sadowski Trust Fund, in half.

“What’s happened under DeSantis is they have cut in in half first by legislation last year they’re trying to do it again this year,” said Crist.

While the money in this fund is meant for affordable housing, it has been used on other efforts in the past.

“Repeal that bad law that got rid of the trust fund’s money, and put the money back in the budget,” said Crist.

He said addressing this issue is one of his biggest priorities.

“Get a new governor number one, elections matter who really cares about people.”

In a statement from Governor DeSantis’ office a spokesperson said: “The Governor’s budget recommendations have provided full funding for the affordable housing trust funds every year he has been in office, which includes record funding levels in the Freedom First budget recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year.”

The statement goes on to say that for the current year (FY 21-22), “Governor DeSantis vetoed the sweep of the affordable housing trust fund included in the current year budget and recommended appropriation of those funds for affordable workforce housing programs to expand access to homeownership.”

As a part of Crist’s policy, he plans to appoint a housing czar who would work with local governments to meet housing affordability goals.

One Gainesville resident said because it’s hard to find somewhere affordable to live, she’s currently living with her mother.

“Affordable housing is scarce as soon as something does become available everyone jumps on it,” said Wahnda Roberts.

She said knowing Crist cares about this issue makes her feel heard.

“Do I think that he’s going to get elected in November and he’s gonna change everything overnight? No, but the fact that he’s willing to actually fight to change it, that means a lot.”

This comes as Gainesville officials plan to break ground on an affordable housing community on Monday.

It will be in the Duval community on NE 9th Ave.

Alachua Habitat for Humanity will build the homes on unused city property.

They will be available to income-eligible, first-time homeowners.

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