On Thursday, local news agencies uncovered a report that was commissioned by Orange County to try and kill measures that would help the worst rent crisis in the region’s history (stories HERE and HERE).
The report costs about $59,000 and was published by an ally of apartment associations in the area who have already come out against fair rent measures (story HERE).
It also reads like a book report of excuses, that uses inaccurate comparisons and generalizations in order to preserve the bottom line for the real estate industry and property management companies in Orlando, who are experiencing success at the expense of struggling families who are trying to find a place to live.
Here are just a few examples of those comparisons and generalizations:
“Homelessness is a distinct social issue and not exclusively the result of financial distress”: This excuse works around the problem of unfair rent increases and ignores the obvious financial help that fair rent measures could immediately deliver.
“This report does not explicitly address profiteering as a condition prevalent in the rental market”: Out of town investors flipping for sale properties into overpriced rental units has long been a cited major reason for the rent crisis in Orlando (story HERE).
“A fully informed answer to this question is dependent upon the position of legal counsel and centers on the substantive meaning of the word eliminate”: The report punts to the lawyers on several issues. While caution here is understandable, using the report to try to kill fair rent measures under those parameters is not.
Rent stabilization examples from other regions unlike Orlando used: The report cites examples from Oregon and other areas that are not like Orlando and have not experienced the rapid growth that our region has.
It recommends staying the course while families continue losing homes: This stall tactic recommends continuing the “Housing For All” findings that were published in 2019 but have done nothing to stop the crisis. Meanwhile, the unfair rent increases throwing Orlando residents out on the street would only continue.
It completely ignores family economics and the devastating effects of unfair rent increases: Struggling families won’t read this report. They understand only one number. Their bank account balance. And if their rent goes up $500 a month they understand that they won’t have enough money. At the end of the day that’s what this is all about.
This report is not a credible addition to fixing the rent crisis in Florida. In fact, it goes out of it’s way to ensure that struggling families continue struggling.
Let Orange County residents decide what is fair for their futures in Orange County. Put fair rent measures on the ballot.