When Governor Ron DeSantis stood in front of the Legislature for his State of the State address to kick off session on January 11th, he gave a speech focused not on the needs of working Floridians, but aimed instead directly at presidential primary voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. For more than a half hour, the Governor described a litany of culture war issues he was focused on fighting over the next 60 days while proclaiming that Florida was the “freest state in the nation.”
However, the Governor’s red meat rhetoric never once touched on the greatest issue facing the working families in our state: the skyrocketing cost of housing. Across our state, Floridians are struggling with unheard of hikes in rents and rising property insurance costs after 20 years of Republican failure to address these issues. The situation has grown so dire that 24 Democratic lawmakers sent the Governor a letter in December asking him to declare a state of emergency on housing and cap rent increases at 10% using the state’s price gouging protections.
In fact, Governor DeSantis and Republican leadership in Tallahassee responded to this ongoing crisis by permanently slashing the Sadowski affordable housing trust fund in half last year. Now, in a year where Florida has a reported $15 billion sitting in reserves, it is time for real action on workforce housing affordability.
While the Governor was busy this month focusing on his own political ambitions, hardworking Floridians continued to struggle to be able to afford a roof over their heads
Below is a list of stories from Pensacola to Key West – just from January – highlighting the housing crisis that Governor DeSantis continues to ignore.
- January 3, 2022: After skyrocketing in 2021, Orlando rents expected to increase more slowly in new year, Orlando Sentinel
- January 4, 2022: The Working Homeless Part 5: Navigating the road to housing, WINK News
- January 5, 2022: Tampa rent up almost 40% compared to last January, report says, WFLA
- January 10, 2022: Collier County is facing an affordable housing crisis as prices climb, WINK News
- January 11, 2022: Soaring housing, rent gets zero attention as 2022 legislative session starts, WFTV
- January 13, 2022: Thousands Of South Florida Renters Facing Eviction, CBS Miami
- January 13, 2022: Jacksonville tenants left feeling powerless as rental costs skyrocket, News 4 Jax
- January 14, 2022: Affordable housing groups want Florida lawmakers to keep their promise and avoid trust fund sweeps, WFSU
- January 18, 2022: As Florida home prices spike, middle-class residents wonder if they can afford to stay, Washington Post
- January 18, 2022: Key West says yes to workforce housing at Truman Waterfront, Keys Weekly
- January 20, 2022: In Palm Bay, rent hikes are pushing some seniors into homelessness, Bay News 9
- January 20, 2022: Tampa Bay housing inventory plummets by 47 percent, the ‘lowest ever observed,’ says Zillow, Creative Loafing Tampa
- January 20, 2022: Hialeah tenants protest at landlord’s office as rent is increased by as much as $650, Miami Herald
- January 24, 2022: Florida rent hikes were “on another level” last year. Increases continue with no end in sight, Palm Beach Post
- January 24, 2022: Charlotte County residents pushed out by affordable housing shortage, WGCU
- January 25, 2022: Affordable housing crisis puts South Florida families at risk of dislocation, WLRN
- January 25, 2022: Nowhere to go: Time running out for residents of one Tallahassee mobile home park, Tallahassee Democrat
- January 25, 2022: Miami Working On Solution As Many Scramble To Find Affordable Rentals, CBS Miami