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Heritage Oaks, LLP v. Madison Pointe, LLC

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

July 15, 2019

Heritage Oaks, LLP, Appellant,
v.
Madison Pointe, LLC, American Residential, and Florida Housing Finance Corporation, etc., et al., Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

          On appeal from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. Bernard Smith, Chair.

          Michael P. Donaldson and Christine Davis Graves of Carlton, Fields, Tallahassee; Scott A. McLaren of Hill Ward Henderson, Tampa, for Appellant.

          Hugh R. Brown, General Counsel, Betty C. Zachem, Assistant General Counsel, Florida Housing Finance Corporation, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

          B.L. THOMAS, J.

         Heritage Oaks challenges the final order of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, adopting the recommended order of an administrative law judge and rescinding an award for funding to construct affordable housing. The corporation determined that Appellant incorrectly answered a material question in the Request for Application.

         Facts

         The Florida Housing Finance Corporation establishes "procedures necessary for proper allocation and distribution of low- income housing tax credits." § 420.5099(1), Fla. Stat. (2018). Florida Housing periodically administers competitive solicitations through which developers may apply for funding for the new construction or rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. Fla. Admin. Code R. 67-60.001(1).

         In 2016, Florida Housing issued an RFA proposing the development of affordable multifamily housing in Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Palm Beach, and Pinellas counties. Appellant responded and requested funding for a proposed housing development called Heritage Oaks, which would consist of 85 newly constructed housing units. At the time that Appellant submitted its application, there were occupied housing units on the site. But under the proposed development, these existing units would be demolished to make way for the 85 new units.

         Question 5 of the RFA concerned "General Development Information," and under this heading, Question 5.e. was labeled "Number of Units in Proposed Development." Under this subheading, Questions 5.e. (1) and (2) asked for the "total number of units" and the amount of new construction and rehabilitation units[1] in the proposed development. Question 5.e. (3) stated:

         "The Applicant must indicate which of the following applies to the occupancy status of any existing units:

(a) Existing units are currently occupied
(b) Existing units are not currently ...

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