Nikki Fried Announces Plan To End Florida’s Housing Crisis if She’s Elected Governor: Starting With a State of Emergency

Toby Hazlewood

Rent controls and tax breaks to solve the problem

On Monday April 11 the Democratic candidate for Florida Governor Nikki Fried announced details of a plan to address Florida's housing crisis if she wins the election. The plan starts with declaring a housing state of emergency.

Fried is currently Florida's Agriculture Commissioner and her focus on addressing the housing crisis seems to demonstrate that her focus as governor would be on measures assisting those who are struggling with the escalating cost of living in Florida, and the U.S. more widely. Details of her plan were shared via Fried's Twitter account:

Practical measures to keep housing costs down

In addition to the state of emergency, Fried proposes the following measures to make housing more affordable for Floridians:

  • To protect the state's Sadowski funds intended to promote and support provision of affordable housing
  • To create a task force to address affordability.
  • To expand homestead exemptions from up to $50,000 to up to $100,000.
  • To offer additional property tax exemptions for homeowners who only have one home, favoring those who live in their home over those who own properties and rent them out.
  • To repeal a state law prohibiting local governments from imposing rent control.

The measures are intended to make it preferable for property owners to actually live in the properties they own rather than buying them to rent them out. It's potentially a means of bringing rents down as landlords have less incentive to own more properties, increasing demand and constraining housing supply.

But at the same time, it seems unlikely that these proposals would have immediate, short-term effects which could mean that the existing crisis remains in force for a long while.

Housing is out of reach for many in Florida

The problem that Fried has latched onto is a big one for Floridians right now - how to cope with the rising cost of living and the shortages of affordable housing.

A report published on March 29 revealed that property prices in Florida have increased by over 30% in some areas in the last year - compared to a U.S. average of 19.2%.

This is great news for home owners who've seen the value of their homes skyrocket. It's not so good for those who want to buy or those who have no choice but to rent, and who are seeing rents being increased by up to 30% too.

In many cases, the only remaining option is homelessness which was already a long-term problem for Florida.

Does Fried have a chance anyway?

Regardless of whether the measures proposed by Nikki Fried would be effective, it seems at this point that her chances of becoming governor are slim at best.

A recent set of polls from late March suggest that Governor Ron DeSantis would retain his position against any Democrat, and would enjoy a 52% to 36% victory over Fried if she were to be the Democrat's nominee.

In that case, the housing issue would remain in Governor DeSantis' issue to resolve.

Would you like to see Nikki Fried nominated as Florida's governor? Do you believe her proposed measures to tackle the housing crisis would work, or do you believe Governor DeSantis will resolve the problem? Let me know in the comments section below.

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