ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted 4-3 Tuesday evening to put a rent control plan on the ballot for a public vote in November.
The plan, introduced by Comm. Emily Bonilla, calls for a rent hike cap of 5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. It would apply to any dwellings with 4 or more units. For example, if a tenants pays $1,000 per month for rent, the rent could not go up more than $50 per month. The cap would last for one year and would have to be approved by Orange County voters first.
The plan has been criticized by consultants, experts and other members of the commission, who warned that it could drive up rental costs in neighboring counties, lower the amount of housing in Orange County and reduce the quality of housing in the county.
“If you look at the evictions, the number of children and families living on the streets, the rent increases, we have seen an extraordinary jump in those numbers,” Bonilla told News 6 at a previous meeting. “This rent cap will provide an immediate solution to the problem.”
An independent study that cost the county $60,000 found that the rent situation does not qualify for declaring an emergency and that a rent cap alone is among the least effective solutions.
The plan will go on the ballot in November for a public vote.