Orange County housing crisis not quite an emergency, new study shows

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Under Florida law, rent control measures are illegal unless state leaders declare a housing emergency.

A new study done at the request of Orange County Commissioners found that the local rental market doesn’t meet that criteria.

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According to the study, rent in Orange County has reached a crisis level, but does not necessarily rise to that of an “emergency.”

The study suggests the issue is so complex that it’s likely beyond the County Commission’s control.

According to the report, the problem stems from years of inadequate housing production that’s failed to keep pace with population growth.

It found rent costs jumped 25 percent in Orange County last year alone.

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The report says a temporary rent ceiling that would be enacted under rent control would do “little to correct” the problem.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says it could also have unintended consequences.

“To institute rent control or stabilization could have the opposite effect and actually slow down the building of affordable units,” Demings said.

The Mayor says the county is still weighing its options.

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“One of the things that is potentially viable is consideration for requiring some type of notice to be given to renters in advance of a rent increase,” Demings said.

Commissioners will discuss the results of the study at their next meeting Tuesday where they’ll determine the next steps to be taken.

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