Posted On March 29, 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Ian Quartin The CLEO Institute (305) 573-5251 firstname.lastname@example.org THE CLEO INSITUTE’S STATEMENT ON HB 5401 and SB 2512 March 26, 2021 Miami, FL. The Florida House and Senate Leadership have introduced HB 5401 that would strip the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund of two billion dollars that would be re-appropriated for other projects or programs, including resiliency and water management projects. In order to address the inextricably linked issues of economic inequality, housing shortage, environmental racism, and climate change, Florida leaders must heavily invest in both affordable housing and equitable climate infrastructure. Given the affordable and workforce housing shortages and the rising cost of living in the state, we cannot truly be resilient without continuing to invest in affordable housing projects throughout the state. Economic recovery for Florida will require state and local leaders to confront historic health, economic, and environmental disparities that heighten residents’ vulnerability to more extreme weather, sea level rise, and other public health and changing climate threats. In order to do this, we must fund the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund fully to reduce the risk of longtime residents being displaced from their communities as neighborhood improvements and desirability drive up rents and increase the value of homes. Gentrification is already a growing problem in South Florida due to economic forces and rising seas impacts and must not be further exacerbated by community investments that do not offer safeguards to the most vulnerable populations who are at the fore front of the pandemic and the housing, social justice and climate crisis. We encourage Florida leaders to look towards our recently published Florida Future Fund report and seek innovative financing mechanism that would allow us to fully invest in both affordable housing, and equitable resiliency infrastructure.