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Tampa Council members reject plans to put rent control on the November ballot

Tampa Rent Protest
Posted at 7:33 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 19:33:07-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Rent control isn't coming to Tampa. In a lengthy council meeting, council members voted to can plans to put a rent control ordinance on the November ballot. Only two Council members, Gudes and Hurtak, voted to move forward.

"I just see it so wide open, the exemptions that we're going to have every little body looking for every little thing," said Maniscalco.

As rents average 20% higher this year, advocates like Getulio Gonzalez- Mullatierri said they'll continue to push back.

"It's difficult right now. We're living paycheck to paycheck," he said.

He joined a group of others in front of Old City Hall before the meeting and again after the public comment portion to rally for rent control.

"More rent, more tents," he added, fearing a continued rise in homelessness.

But in a public comment that lasted roughly two hours, both sides of the rent control debate spoke out.

"Tying our hands with rent control makes uncertainty," said one landlord.

"I say you should not implement the rent control," another begged.

"It's a shame. I moved down here thinking it's a-ok, and it's not," a new Tampa resident said in favor of rent control.

"We are senior citizens wanting to enjoy our life and retire and we can't," another said tearfully.

Legal counsel warned of various shortfalls to the proposed ordinance.

"The likelihood of us being challenged is extremely high, and we can't predict what is going to happen."

The City is pledging $5.5 million from the city's general fund. That includes the efforts to bring another 10,000 units to the city.

"We will remain relentless in addressing this crisis from every possible avenue," she said.

Last year was the first time housing relief was included in the general fund budget. The city included $4 million then. Still, advocates say it's not nearly enough to address the issue.

Meantime, the city is also touting its Tenant Advocacy Office. In the last six weeks, the office reported 44% of its calls were for rental assistance. 1.7% were for complaints about rent increases.