This February, staff from Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties and Habitat affiliates throughout the state will convene in Tallahassee for meetings with state lawmakers. There are several important programs and bills that require Habitat’s advocacy. One of the statewide policy priorities for Habitat affiliates is the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program. We ask you to join us in amplifying our message by emailing key lawmakers and spreading the word on social media.
More about the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program:
The Community Contribution Tax Credit Program is a key financing mechanism for the construction of affordable homes in Florida. Established in 1980 to facilitate partnerships between private and nonprofit organizations, CCTCP has been successful in reducing poverty, providing economic opportunity, and expanding affordable homeownership for low-income individuals.
The program encourages private sector participation in community improvement projects by providing up to a 50 percent tax credit on donations made to approved nonprofit organizations. Since 1998, Habitat for Humanity affiliates have used CCTCP to partner with more than 800 community-based businesses, leveraging state funds with private donations to build over 4,000 affordable homes throughout Florida. Locally, Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counites has utilized CCTCP to partner with 64 unique businesses, building over 500 affordable homes in Southwest Florida.
Unfortunately, even as Florida faces a severe affordable housing shortage, state lawmakers have been slashing CCTCP funding. Just a few years ago, the program was funded at $21.4 million; however, today, CCTCP is funded at only $10.5 million. In addition to directly impacting the number of families Habitat for Humanity can serve through affordable homeownership, these cuts have limited our ability to bring new partners and stakeholders to the table.
Thankfully, there’s broad, bipartisan support for the CCTCP as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle recognize the cost-effectiveness of leveraging state funds with private capital to mitigate systemic problems. We are asking these state lawmakers to restore the program’s funding to a compromise level of $17 million per year. With the projected statewide budget to exceed $92 billion, the $7 million increase accounts for 0.00076 percent of the total budget. However, with that small increase, Habitat for Humanity will serve an additional 100 families per year with affordable homeownership by securing and leveraging private funds.
In the Florida House of Representative, the Ways & Means Committee oversees all tax legislation and, therefore, CCTCP allocations. We ask you to join us in telling the Ways & Means Committee members to support hardworking families and affordable homeownership by restoring CCTCP funding this legislative session.