Florida’s housing market is about to see a substantial hunk of the $300 the state won in a $25 billion nationwide foreclosure settlement, according to the Miami Herald. After months of disagreement, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has reached a deal with the legislature that ensures a sizable amount of the money will go to housing-related initiatives.
About $60 million could roll out over the next several weeks for programs like down-payment assistance, legal counseling for struggling homeowners and initiatives to help deal with the backlog of foreclosures in state courts. However, the legislature will not approve specific spending measures for two-thirds of the funds until next year’s legislative session, according to the Herald.
Some $40 million of the funds will be put into the state coffers as a “civil penalty,” in additional to the $33 million that has already gone to the treasury.
“This plan gets much-needed assistance to the homeowners and communities suffering the effects of the foreclosure crisis, and ensures that the settlement funds are spent with the transparency, accountability and flexibility that comes from the legislative process,” Bondi said in a statement. “I thank President-designate Gaetz and Speaker-designate Weatherford for working together with me to implement the mortgage settlement in a way that’s in the best interests of our state.” [Miami Herald] –Christopher Cameron