Rents are on the rise in the Tampa Bay Area, and rising much more quickly than the national average.
According to the latest report by RENTCafe, a nationwide internet listing service for housing rental units, St. Petersburg leads the Tampa Bay Area with the highest rental spike, up 7.1% since last year.
St. Pete was top 20 in the country for that high of a percentage change; Orlando led the state of Florida with a 7.8% price increase.
Other parts of the Tampa Bay Area are also outpacing the national average of 2.7%
Tampa is up 5.2%, Lakeland is up 6.5% and Clearwater is up 4.3% since last year.
RENTCafe also lists Brandon, which is an unincorporated community of Hillsborough County, as having rental prices up 5.6% since last year.
In real prices, the average St. Pete housing rental is $1,246. In Tampa the average is $1,236 and in Clearwater it's $1,126.
In an effort to help people in the area better afford their rental homes, an organization today pitched an idea to the Hillsborough's Board of County Commissioners to have what they call an "affordable housing trust fund."
Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality (HOPE) presented their ideas to the commissioners during their meeting on Wednesday for a fund that would create, rehab, and preserve "safe, decent, and affordable apartments and single-family homes for working families and seniors with low incomes."
HOPE envisions a $10 Million annual budget on top of projects Hillsborough County already takes part in to help families afford homes, funded in part by code enforcement violation fees and a public service tax, and managed by an oversight board.
There just aren't enough places to live for the tens of thousands of families making less than the region's median income of about $30,000 for a family of four, says HOPE in a pitch they plan to take to each commissioner individually over the next several weeks.
Here is RENTCafe's February 2018 Apartment Market Report .