This past week, the City of Orlando decided to use American Rescue Plan Act dollars to combat the rental and affordable housing crisis in the region. The worst in the region’s history. There is approximately $58 million dollars tied into an initiative Mayor Buddy Dyer titled “Accelerate Orlando”.
That’s a lot of money. Let’s not be unrealistic. But the plan misses to the main point of this post, which I’ll get to in a second. First let’s look at Orange County.
In 2019, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, launched his “Affordable Housing for All” plan. The initiative was lead by a committee of real estate salesmen, lobbyists, and developers. The same people that lead us into the crisis. Three years later, its a fair assessment to weigh to initiative as a failure (story HERE).
Both plans lean heavily off of giving money to developers to build more. And they both miss important points.
That is urgency. Both plans are missing urgency. We have families losing homes NOW. We have kids sleeping in cars NOW. We need help NOW.
Fair rent measures that would limit how much Orlando property management companies could raise the rent on families at one time, face strong opposition from special interests who donate hundreds of thousands to political campaigns in the area.
And here is the worst part. The need for affordable housing is so bad in the greater Orlando area, that even after you throw all of this money at building more units, we still won’t have enough to help everyone.
But preventing Orlando real estate from feeding off of families would hurt the campaign coffers. They’re afraid to attack the very cause of the problem.
And meanwhile, more families will lose their homes