Orange County

Orange County looks at rent control measure to ease skyrocketing living costs

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orange County administrators are ready to explore capping rent increases in the community.

Officials gathered to make an announcement Friday in response to the skyrocketing cost of living in Central Florida.

WATCH: Some renters report having issues getting help from federally funded rental assistance program

State Rep. Anna Eskamani of Orange County recently pushed a bill to help bring rent control to Florida.


It didn’t get a committee hearing.

This would be the first time in recent Florida history a rent control measure passed, if it does.

The goal is to reign in the market that’s seen price hikes 10 times above normal levels.

“If my mortgage had gone up by $400 I would be in a pickle,” said Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla.

With Orange County renters facing extraordinary hikes in their monthly payments, local politicians are calling on the county to put a rent control measure on the November ballot.

WATCH: 7 people evicted from Orlando complex while waiting for rental assistance

“There’s been a shift from folks who are navigating unemployment systems navigating the eviction crisis,” said state Rep. Anna Eskamani.

The proposal would cap rent increases at 5% next year for landlords who own more than four units.

“We have to look at every possible solution to this housing affordability crisis if the state is not going to act,” said state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.

The 5% increase is close to a typical yearly increase and far below the 30% average raise the county experienced in 2021.

Shortly after the news conference Friday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings released a statement of his own saying several questions need to be answered and it’s likely the commission will take this up in May or June.

WATCH: Orange County politicians want voters to decide to limit rent hikes

Bonilla is confident she will have the votes.

“From the concern I see from them and other board meetings, I feel that I at least have two other votes, maybe three,” Bonilla said.

Under state law, rent control does not apply to apartment buildings where rent averaged $250 in 1977.

See more in the video above.

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