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Development Incentives

Incentives for Affordable Housing Development

The City of Orlando offers several incentives to developers who provide affordable housing units as part of a residential or mixed-use project. Any development proposing to allocate at least 20 percent of the total dwelling units to low, very low, and/or moderate income housing is eligible to become a certified affordable housing development that may receive the following development incentives from the City:

  • Federal and/or state funds (subject to availability)
  • Reduced or waived impact fees
  • Density bonus
  • Alternative development standards
  • Expedited permitting

Affordable Housing Certification is an administrative review that ensures that a proposed project and its intended occupants meet the standards and income requirements for affordable housing in accordance with the City of Orlando’s Affordable Housing Certification Process. All applicants seeking certification must schedule a pre-application meeting and complete an application with Housing and Community Development staff, by first calling 407.246.2708.

Federal and/or State Funds

The City of Orlando annually receives funding from the Federal and State governments to provide quality affordable housing. Programs are available for construction, rehabilitation, and down payment assistance for recipients who meet income requirements. The City has policies and procedures in place to review and award these funds. For more information regarding available funding and next steps, please schedule a meeting by contacting staff at 407.246.2708.

Reduced or Waived Impact Fees

The City of Orlando requires all developments to pay impact fees to support future infrastructure investments resulting from new development demands. Certified affordable housing developments are eligible to receive reduced or waived transportation and parks impact fees. Reimbursement for sewer and schools impact fees are subject to funding availability. A developer with a certified affordable housing development would pay the impact fees when building permits are pulled, but would be reimbursed for impact fees, as described in the affordable housing certification letter, when certificates of occupancy are issued to occupants who meet income requirements.

Density Bonus

The City of Orlando offers developers a density/intensity bonus to construct a greater number of dwelling units per acre or commercial floor area per acre than would otherwise be permitted. This bonus is available in specific residential, office and activity center zoning districts in exchange for the development of affordable housing or for an in-lieu contribution to the City of Orlando Trust Fund for Very Low and Low-Income Housing. Projects proposed to take advantage of this bonus must first receive Affordable Housing Certification. For more information, or to schedule a pre-application meeting, contact City Planning staff at 407.246.2269.

Alternative Development Standards

Alternative development standards, as described in Chapter 67, Part 6 of the Land Development Code, are intended to promote efficient land use and innovative design to encourage the development of very low and low-income housing communities. Residential developments with at least ten contiguous dwelling units and a unit mix consisting of at least 20 percent of low and very low income units are eligible to apply for alternative development standards, subject to building site and a neighborhood compatibly standards. Developers must submit applications to the Housing and Community Development Department for Affordable Housing Certification and to the City Planning Division for a Planning Official Determination for Alternative Development Standards. For more information, or to schedule a pre-application meeting, contact City Planning staff at 407.246.2269.

Expedited Permitting

The City is required by Florida Statutes to expedite the permitting process for certified affordable housing projects. This means that certified projects are reviewed before market-rate projects, resulting in shorter review times. The housing expediter on city staff works to resolve issues between the applicant and the Permitting Services Division as they arise. In order to take advantage of expedited permitting, developers must receive affordable housing certification and follow related Housing and Community Development procedures for permit submittal from the start of the project.

For information about the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, please click here.

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