Orange County Affordable Homes
Orlando ranks second worst in the country when it comes to the affordable housing shortage. Orlando ranks last in the country when it comes to wages. Orange County has the highest homeless rate in Central Florida. Our local economy is fueled by jobs that do not pay liveable wages. Currently, there are only 18 affordable rental homes available for every 100 of the poorest renters. Orange County people continue to suffer from record setting rent increases during the last year with the average increase being approximately 30% in one year. Families are paying upwards near 50% of their salary towards rent leaving little funds available for escalating gas prices and food prices.
There is also a brewing issue on the horizon that the incumbant has not yet identified. The increasing property values for homeowners in Orange County will result in increased property taxes that will need to paid. Slowly by slowly the people of Orange County are being out priced of living in their community.
In 2018, the current mayor listed his first priority for the county as being affordable housing. He came with a Housing for All 10 year action plan. In 10 years, the Housing for All Trust Fund will add 30,300 new places to live. There are major issues with the action plan. Of the 30,300 new places to live within the Affordable Housing for All Trust Fund the action plan:
Does nothing for people who are evicted due to soaring rent prices
11,000 (nearly ⅓ of the units) would be priced for households that make between $26,000 - $83,000 a year
19,300 units (about 64%) would be priced for those households that make between $83,000 and $97,000 a year.
This action plan is not a solution for people that cannot make a liveable wage in Orange County. The incumbant states, “...I would urge you to exercise a bit of patience and understanding that this is just the beginning of a very lengthy process…” regarding his 10 year action plan for affordable housing.
10 years. That is a long time to wait for a lot of people that are in need right now. Meanwhile, Orange County people continue to “be patient” for Jerry Demings to lead our county towards a one year rent stabilization referendum for the November 8 ballot. The writing for that referendum is due August 23, 2022. It is clear that Demings is waiting the clock out on forwarding the rent stabilization referendum. There is no scheduled BCC meeting at this time prior to the August 23 deadline.
The following actions must take place:
1. Declare housing emergency and stabilize rent for one year
2. Public housing
3. Conversion of existing properties/rezone
3. Protect from corporate landlords/investors that outprice our people
4. Laser focus on affordable housing construction
5. County buys property for affordable housing
6. Limit land speculation
7. Rural boundary as cost saving mechanism
8. Stop talking about the need to build homes for the 1,000s of people that are moving here each week and focus on the people who live here now.