Lawmakers in Tallahassee are renewing their focus on Florida’s foreclosure problem, after the state ended 2012 as America’s foreclosure capital.
Attorney General Pam Bondi, Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford held a press conference Thursday to discuss a newly approved $60 million program for housing aid.
The program—which includes money for homebuyer assistance, legal aid and foreclosure prevention—is part of last year’s multibillion dollar national settlement that included cash payments to states.
Bondi reached a deal with Weatherford and Gaetz after an initial disagreement over who had authority over the $334 million in funds allocated to Florida. In the end, the groups compromised to allow the Legislature to direct the money during the 2013 legislative session, with $60 million carved out for release prior to the session.
Bondi’s office organized a press conference Thursday to discuss the details of the $60 million program. The deal includes:
- --$35 million for Down Payment Assistance (Florida Housing Finance Corporation)
- --$10 million for Foreclosure Counseling (Florida Housing Finance Corporation)
- --$5 million for Reducing the Foreclosure Backlog (State Courts System)
- --$5 million for Legal Aid (Various providers)
- --$5 million for Attorney General’s Legal Fees (Attorney General’s Office)