Tampa, FL

Despite Community Feedback, Tampa City Council Declines to Pursue Rent Control For Now

L. Cane

Activists and community members turned out in high numbers during Tampa City Council's "rent stabilization workshop" yesterday. But despite the testimony from people facing housing hardships, the council ultimately declined to pursue rent control at this time.

No State of Emergency:

Community members showed up with signs lamenting climbing rent. Michelle Patty, a homeowner, told the council that she's seen people in the community end up homeless:

"We're talking about seniors that are being put out on the street, veterans that are being put out on the street, children being put out on the street."

But despite listening to testimony from the public, the council stopped short of declaring a state of emergency, which is a necessary step for rent control.

Instead, the council took the position that such a move would be legally difficult, since Florida Statute 166.043 limits a local government's ability to adopt a rent control ordinance.

Another Workshop and a Proposed Ordinance:

By the end of the meeting, Councilman Bill Carlson proposed an ordinance that would require landlords to give six months' notice before increasing rent. The proposed ordinance will be further discussed at a council meeting on April 21.

The council also set another workshop for May 26th to hear additional ideas from the community.

1 Million Dollars in Rent Relief is Coming in March:

The council noted that one million dollars of rental relief will be available for those who qualify on March 1. In an email to the Tampa Bay Times, Kayon Henderson, the city’s manager of housing and community development, said that those funds could help up to 100 households.

According to national real estate brokerage Redfin, rent rose 31% in Tampa from January 2021 to January 2022.

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