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Orange County Housing

Orange County Commission votes 4-3 to cap rent increases

Mayor Demings, and District 2 Commissioner Moore vote against the ordinance

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The Orange County Commission, during its Tuesday meeting, voted 4-3 to send a rent stabilization ordinance to the voters in November that caps rent increases on multifamily properties with four or more units for a year.

Mayor Jerry Demings, and District 2 Commissioner Christine Moore voted against the ordinance.

"The county has been working diligently to increase funding for affordable housing and opened two private/public projects in Pine Hills and one more is in the process in Apopka," Moore said. "Through federal dollars nearly 10,000 families have avoided eviction and there is $40 million more for additional assistance. Rent control, where it has been tried, has not worked. The Legislature is likely to pre-empt any local efforts. The county's focus should be on increasing the supply of housing, lowering property taxes, and reducing the bureaucracy."

The proposal made its way to the commission in April. If approved by voters on the November 8th ballot, the ordinance would take effect as early as November 21st and last for one year.

Previously, the commission put a 60-day notice requirement for rent increases of more than 5%. And on August 30th, Orange County will hold a session on rental assistance for those at risk of eviction and rent increases.

The Apopka City Council addressed the idea of affordable housing in May when Commissioner Alexander H. Smith called for a discussion on declaring a housing state of emergency. 

"When looking at the crisis that we're now experiencing with affordable housing, let's look at the possibility of declaring a housing state of emergency in the City of Apopka and to pursue a rent stabilization program, " he said.

Smith elaborated on his concerns in a statement to The Apopka Voice after the meeting.

"It's important that we address affordable/workforce housing," he said. "The situation is getting worse, and it does not appear that it's going to get better any time soon. Working-class people find themselves homeless, struggling to make ends meet, and putting stress on their families. Tenants who pay more than 30% of their income on rent are rent-burdened, meaning they have less resources to pay for other basic needs for themselves and their families. Declaring a housing state of emergency in this crisis may be the only relief at this time. Pursuing some rent stabilization program to help those struggling could be a lifeline."

Since Smith's call for action in May, no affordable housing plan has moved forward in the Apopka City Council.

Orange County Commission, District 2 Commissioner Christine Moore, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Apopka City Council, Apopka City Commissioner Alexander Smith

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  • MamaMia

    Mayor Demings and Commissioner Moore voted against the ordinance, but the vote was 4 -3, so who was the other commissioner who voted against the ordinance? One knows it's election time when commissioners start referencing lowering property taxes.....LOL!

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