OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Economic Opportunity

Community Development

What is the purpose of the division?

The Division of Community Development manages the state's land planning and community development responsibilities, ensuring that new growth fosters economic development while protecting resources of state significance.

What are the duties of the division?

The division's duties include the following programs and functions.
  • Administering state and federal grant programs, including the Community Services Block Grant Program, Community Development Block Grant Program, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Weatherization Assistance Program, and Neighborhood Stabilization Program
  • Assisting local governments and their communities in finding creative planning solutions to help foster vibrant, healthy communities, while protecting the functions of important state resources and facilities
  • Assisting with the implementation of the Department of Economic Opportunity's five-year statewide strategic plan.

What is the Florida Housing Finance Corporation?

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation is a public corporation whose goal is to maximize the capacity of local governments and the private sector to develop and preserve affordable housing. 

How are these activities funded?

Updates

Hurricane Michael Disaster Recovery Funds.  The state of Florida submitted a state plan as required by the federal government to receive $735 million in funding to support long-term recovery efforts following Hurricane Michael. The plan documents impacts and unmet needs as the Community Development Block Grant--Disaster Recovery funds are designed to address needs that remain after all other assistance has been exhausted including federal dollars and private insurance.

Florida Office of Broadband.  Chapter 2020-26, Laws of Florida, transfers the state’s broadband program from the Department of Management Services (DMS) to the Department of Economic Opportunity, creating the Florida Office of Broadband within the department's Division of Community Development.  The bill transfers specific powers and duties regarding the development, marketing, and promotion of broadband that were previously under DMS.  More specifically, the office is directed to perform the following duties:

  • Create a strategic plan to increase the use of broadband Internet service in Florida that includes a process to review and verify public input on broadband Internet transmission speeds and availability;
  • Build and facilitate local technology planning teams with members representing cross-sections of the community including representatives from libraries, K-12 education, colleges and universities, local health care providers, private businesses, community organizations, economic development organizations, local governments, tourism, parks and recreation, and agriculture;
  • Encourage the use of broadband Internet service, especially in rural, unserved, or underserved areas through grant programs to facilitate the statewide deployment of broadband Internet service; and
  • Monitor, participate in, and provide input on Federal Communications Commission proceedings that are related to the geographic availability and deployment of broadband Internet in Florida.

Priorities for Land Use Planning Technical Assistance.  The 2020 Legislature enacted Ch. 2020-122, Laws of Florida, which prioritizes planning technical assistance to local governments in smaller counties (population of 200,000 or fewer) to assess natural resource protections in and around a proposed multiuse corridor interchange.  The law directs the department to give preference to these local agencies when vetting applications for technical assistance funding.

Changes to Affordable Housing Loan Programs.  Chapter 2020-27, Laws of Florida, changes to programs administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) including:

  • Authorize the FHFC to preclude an applicant from further participation in FHFC programs if that applicant made a material misrepresentation or engaged in fraudulent actions in connection with any corporation program;
  • Eliminate prior experience with FHFC as a qualifying criterion for financing under the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) Program;
  • Permit FHFC to prioritize a portion of SAIL to provide funding for the development of newly constructed permanent rental housing for persons in foster care or persons aging out of foster care;
  • Transition the "pilot" features of a workforce housing program into the Community Workforce Housing Loan Program, administered by FHFC;
  • Establish biannual regional workshops for locally elected officials serving on affordable housing advisory committees to identify and share best affordable housing practices;
  • Require a State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program participant to include in its annual program report to FHFC the number of affordable housing applications approved and denied;  and
  • Expand the definition of affordable housing in the SHIP Program to include certain nonprofits who provide affordable supportive housing and community-based coordination services for persons with challenges related to mental health, substance abuse, or domestic violence.

 

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

Florida Economic Development Program Evaluations - Year 7, Report 19-16, December 2019
Florida Economic Development Program Evaluations - Year 6, Report 18-07, December 2018
Florida Economic Development Program Evaluations - Year 5, Report 17-13, December 2017
Miami-Dade's Discretionary Surtax Supports Affordable Housing for Low-income Residents; Recent Changes Will Improve the Program, Report 17-08, June 2017
Florida Economic Development Program Evaluations - Year 4, Report 17-02, January 2017
Agency Review - Enterprise Florida, Inc., and Department of Economic Opportunity, Report 16-09, December 2016
Status of Florida's State Small Business Credit Initiative Programs, Report 15-02, January 2015

Where can I get more information?

Websites of Interest
U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 20, 163, 189, 288, 290, 380, and 409, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Department of Economic Opportunity, 850-245-7105

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