Florida Representative Edmonds Continues Pushing for Public Housing Assistance

Florida Representative Edmonds Continues Pushing for Public Housing Assistance

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
September 13, 2023

Tallahassee, Fl- Florida Representative Jervonte “Tae” Edmonds has introduced a bill that would provide mortgage and insurance relief for Florida residents. 

HB 41 is Representative Edmonds’ second bill filed in less than a week regarding public aid for housing-related matters

Edmonds’ latest bill would create a program within the Department of Commerce granting one-time payments of Florida residents’ mortgage loans and homeowners' and motor vehicle insurance premiums. 

Residents would be eligible for up to $1,500, or up to $2,500-if the resident is a senior citizen (65 or older)-for payment of a mortgage loan or for motor vehicle insurance. 

Last week, Edmonds filed legislation that seeks to impose statewide rent control measures. 

HB 31 would cap rent raises to 30 percent of the current amount charged and limit inferior raises to once a year.

In other words, landlords would be prohibited from increasing rent by more than 30 percent of what they already charge, and raises that do not surpass the 30 percent threshold would only be permitted once a year. 

“Too many people in Florida are struggling to pay rent, and this bill would give them some much-needed relief,” said Edmonds. 

While Florida statutes explicitly bar individual cities or counties from imposing rent control measures, state legislation aiming to do so is permitted by Florida law.

Statute 166.043 specifically reads that “a municipality, county, or other entity of local government may not adopt or maintain in effect any law, ordinance, rule, or other measure that would have the effect of imposing controls on rents.”

Rent control is argued by many to be a short-term solution with long-lasting negative consequences. The Wall Street Journal reported this past January that “93% of economists agree rent control reduces the quantity and quality of housing available.”

As inflation skyrockets, politicians are increasingly calling for measures, such as rent control, to appease an increasingly frustrated constituency. 

Over the past year, for example, all food prices on average have gone up 6.7%, electricity has gone up 5.9%, flour has gone up 17.1%, and baby food has gone up 10.1%.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio recently criticized President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy as the Department of Labor published grim consumer price index statistics. 

“How will the Biden Administration spin Bidenomics now?” asked Senator Rubio. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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