Florida Senate to take up bill on rent control

A bill gaining traction aims to settle the debate over whether rent control should be left up to local governments.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 6:16 PM CST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Exactly one week away from the beginning of the Florida legislative session a bill gaining traction seeks to settle the debate over whether rent control should be left up to local governments.

Senate Bill 102, dubbed “Live Local” aims to create housing opportunities and allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s affordable housing programs.

For 2023, the bill would allocate $252 million to the State House Initiatives Program, $259 million to the State Apartment Incentive Loan program over a ten-year period, and $100 million to the Hometown Heroes Housing Program.

The bill would eliminate rent control policies being enacted by local governments, and ban any local ordinances and measures to regulate the issue.

Supporters of the legislation argue that it prioritizes private investments into affordable housing. Namely, the tax breaks afforded to landlords are based on the amount of affordable housing units they offer.

Leon County Democratic Party Chair Ryan Ray said the bill takes power away from local governments that are trying to tackle affordable housing shortages.

“We know this legislature is taking away the authority for local communities to get creative with that kind of stuff,” Ray said. “Local government options to get creative to create new incentives, for developers to create affordable housing to be able to set the terms for what’s right for what neighborhood inside a local given community that’s being stripped away.”

The bill would redirect documentary stamp funding from general revenue to workforce housing. Providing $1.5 billion over 10 years to new rental units by transferring up to $150 million a year in stamp tax revenue to the SAIL Program instead of general revenue to support more affordable housing.