UPDATE: Per the County Attorney, any move to put something on the ballot in regards to rent control must legally prove that rent prices are putting Floridians at serious risk. By setting up a legal precedent for intervention, the County would be protecting itself in case it is legally challenged.
The County has already stated that we are experiencing a “housing crisis” but many commissioners voiced concerns, including Commissioner Striplin, who stated that she was unsure if it validated a need to institute an ordinance as extreme as a freeze on rent.
The County Attorney also suggested that the decision be referred to the Housing For All Task Force on Affordable Housing for further discussion.
The Mayor stated that the motion did not have the adequate support needed from Bonilla’s fellow commissioners to proceed at this time. Following an impassioned plea from Bonilla for a motion to move forward with the conversation, her motion was denied by her fellow commissioners and Mayor Demings.
** This post will be updated once the vote has taken place. **
Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla, who represents District 5, has tabled for discussion a proposal that would freeze rent increases for one year.
Referendum language for the possible one-year rent freeze was scheduled to be discussed at the Orange County Board of County Commissioners Meeting on June 23 and would apply only to single and multifamily residential units as well as an exemption on any increase on property taxes during the freeze.
It’s estimated that 16 percent of Florida renters were unable to pay rent in the first week of May, compared to 21 percent in April – a shocking drop compared to earlier predictions.
The action requested at this meeting will be to schedule a public hearing on July 7, 2020 for the Board to vote to place the Referendum on the ballot and submit the launguage to the Supervisor of Elections on July 8, 2020.
The current statewide moratorium on evictions is currently set to expire on July 1.
The following quote was provided by a representative of Bishop Beale Duncan (Website) a local real estate firm that focuses on brokerage, management, and development.
“This is not right. The County has purposely kept this under wraps so the owners that are actually affected have no way to defend themselves.
They are stripping us of our rights. What’s next, limiting commercial too? What is happening to our community?”
– Jill Rose, Vice President of Retail Services, Bishop Beale Duncan