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The Florida Roundup
The Florida Roundup is a live, weekly call-in show with a distinct focus on the issues affecting Floridians. Each Friday at noon, listeners can engage in the conversation with journalists, newsmakers and other Floridians about change, policy and the future of our lives in the sunshine state.Join our host, WLRN’s Tom Hudson, broadcasting from Miami.

The suspension of Florida’s affordable housing director and the evolution of high speed trains

Caitie Switalski

This week on The Florida Roundup, we look into the suspension of Florida's affordable housing director and what it means for the new Live Local Act. Plus, Brightline's Miami-to-Orlando service is coming soon — what's next for Florida's high-speed rail? We get into that and other transportation news.

Housing has emerged as one of the most pressing issues facing Florida residents with many people saying they are simply getting priced out.

This past legislative session, state lawmakers chose to do something about it. The bill they passed — called the Live Local Act — has been hailed by Republicans and Democrats alike as a game changer for affordable housing in the state.

The law just went into effect, and it comes with a record $711 million dollars in funding for housing programs in Florida. But the agency that will decide where all that new cash goes just lost its leader, who was hand-picked by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

So, why was Florida's affordable housing director suspended and what does it mean for the new law?


  • Lawrence Mower, reporter with the Tampa Bay Times. 
  • Elizabeth Strom, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of South Florida. 

Florida’s high speed train

Soon there will be a passenger rail service connecting South Florida and Orlando. This moment is a long, long time in the making. Brightline — then known as All Aboard Florida — first announced plans for a train service between Miami and Orlando in 2012.

We talk about what the new train service will mean for South and Central Florida and, down the road, the rest of our state.


  • David Lyons, business writer for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. 
  • Lily Elefteriadou, director of the University of Florida’s Transportation Institute. 
  • Ryan Lynch, reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. 

Copyright 2023 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Bridget O'Brien produces WLRN's The Florida Roundup as well as morning newscasts. A long-time public radio geek, she feels that audio journalism can take a story beyond text and allows listeners to truly connect through the power of voice. With a background in drama, she brings a theatrical element to everything she does.