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Rent stabilization measure to give cash-strapped Orange County families "breathing room," advocates say

The non profit Ability Housing is renovating affordable housing units at the Wayne Densch Center in Eatonville. Image:  Ability Housing
Rendering of the Wayne Densch Center apartment complex/Photo: Ability Housing

Advocacy groups are calling on Orange County voters to approve a measure on the November ballot aimed at stabilizing sky-rocketing rents. 

The one-year emergency measure would limit rent increases for some tenants. It would apply only to multi-family properties with at least four units, and there are other exemptions. 

Berbeth Foster of the Community Justice Project, a nonprofit legal organization, says the measure would help take the immediate pressure off financially strapped families.  

“That will provide breathing room to communities and families and will provide actually commissioners and other elected officials time that they need to craft long-term permanent housing solutions.” 

If the referendum passes, the Florida Apartment Association says it will fight the measure in court. 

Joanne Perodin of consulting firm The Optima Network says unaffordable rents force tenants to make difficult choices between housing and health care. 

“If one does not have stable housing they will have difficult access to reliable health care, and as a result they can become unable to manage their health conditions.” 

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.