ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — There’s now a push to ban rent control measures across the state.
Florida Senate president Kathleen Passidomo proposed that ban for this year’s legislative session. She announced the proposal as Orange County fights for its own rent control measure.
In August, county leaders voted to put that measure on the November ballot. But in October, an appeals court blocked it, saying it didn’t illustrate an “existing housing emergency.”
Last month, the county decided to take the issue to the Florida Supreme Court.
The bill draft itself is six pages long, outlining affordable housing measures like incentives for property tax discounts. The proposal to forbid rent control under all circumstances is at the beginning.
As an advocate of Orange County’s Rent Stabilization Act, Rep. Anna Eskamani said this will move us in the wrong direction, centering the conversation around building owners instead of those living in the homes.
“It’s immediately taking away all the control and doesn’t provide any immediate relief and doesn’t do anything else for the need for renters and renters rights,” Eskamani said.
She said she hopes amendments will be made to through a house version of the bill.
Chevalier Lovett, chief operating officer for Florida Rising, sent Channel 9 a full statement. Read it below:
“SB102 is the so-called ‘Live Local Act of 2023′, however it actually takes power out of the hands of local government to make decisions regarding rent costs and affordable housing that are best for their communities. This bill is a direct attack on the Orange County voters who democratically passed a ballot initiative to stabilize rent. This is the government overruling the will of the voters, who voted by nearly 60% to pass this action. Orange County rents have spiked by 60% in some zip codes, and this rent stabilization measure was necessary to alleviate the housing emergency and put a rein on runaway rents. Orange County Commissioners took action and put rent stabilization on the ballot after state legislators failed to protect tenants last Session.
Additionally, SB 102 takes decisions about affordable housing out of the hands of local electeds and gives it exclusively to the state, which is far removed from the housing concerns and needs specific to local residents. Rather than investing directly in these communities and giving municipalities the power to care for their residents, it gives enormous taxpayer subsidies to developers and manufacturers who are seeking to profit from the housing crisis. Florida Rising will urge our legislators not to use the power of state government to undermine local democracy, and to make a true investment in our most vulnerable communities, who should have access to affordable, safe, dignified housing.”
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