Condo associations needing financial aid to make emergency structural repairs to pass their 40-year recertification inspection may soon get relief from Miami-Dade County and private financial institutions.
Commissioners Tuesday deferred a resolution directing Mayor Daniella Levine Cava to explore creating a loan program alongside financial institutions to assist the associations and condo unit owners needing funds for the repairs.
The commission is now to address the measure after the Legislature holds a special session the week of May 23 to consider legislation related to property insurance, reinsurance, changes to the Florida Building Code to improve the affordability of property insurance, the Office of Insurance Regulation, civil remedies, and appropriations.
The measure calls for the mayor to within four months detail what is needed to create the program, list funding sources and say what else commissioners should do to fire up the initiative.
The resolution by Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins calls for the program to be developed in collaboration with organizations such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, TD Bank, Dade County Federal Credit Union, and PNC Bank, among others.
The county and the financial institutions would need to set maximum loan amounts, interest rates with favorable loan terms to attract the condo associations, and loan terms of 30 years.
The document proposes that the program require the loan to be secured by a mortgage and other related documents approved by the county. The loans are to be paid to the condominium association only for required structural repairs such as roof replacement, building painting and waterproofing, and pavement resurfacing.
The applicants must present evidence of the required repairs such as inspection reports, and evidence that the condo board has the authority to apply for and receive the loan, including any required votes from unit owners.
To be considered, associations would have to meet such requirements as being in Miami-Dade County, being in need of emergency structural repairs at the time of a recertification process, and not having the needed funds.
County commissioners already requested a report from the Office of the Commission Auditor that found federal, state, and local initiatives to help condominiums and single and multifamily homeowners with the costs of necessary maintenance repairs.
The report found that Minnesota has a program designed to provide direct financial assistance to condominium associations for emergency repairs.
The Minnesota Housing Improvement Areas Act allows cities to “finance housing improvements by either advancing funds available to the city and then recovering the costs by charging the property owners fees, or issuing general obligation bonds (GOBs) and then imposing fees on the individual condominium unit owners to repay the bonds.” The county aims for a similar program, the resolution says.
In the aftermath of the collapse of the Champlain South Tower, commissioners have been working on various legislation to aid residents whose buildings are deemed unsafe.
Among these, a resolution by Sally Heyman and Jose “Pepe” Diaz approved in February requires municipal building officials to give immediate notice to the county’s Office of Emergency Management when they are to begin any emergency actions so that the county can assist those residents temporarily displaced from their homes.
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