NewsPinellas County


St. Pete residents look for solutions to skyrocketing rent prices

Meeting room
Posted at 8:43 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 05:22:00-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Pete residents are looking for practical solutions after rent skyrocketed in Pinellas County.

Tru Mizzell rented in St. Pete. She said her landlord informed her last month her rent would increase.

"March 1, I got a notice from my landlord, my wife and I, that our rent would be increasing by $1,000 dollars starting April 1," said Tru Mizzell.

Mizzell said she was able to find another place to live, but that is not always the case for others.

"I was completely overwhelmed and scared because my first thought was how are we going to come up with this?" she said.

Nick Carey is an organizer with Faith in Florida. He attended Wednesday night's meeting in St. Pete. Members of the People's Council also attended.

"People are dealing with 30% increases on average. We've heard as much as $1,000 or $800 a month for some people," said Carey.

"We would like to see a housing state of emergency declared by the city that would allow residents a chance to vote on rent control for a period of one year," he added.

Janelle Irwin Taylor, communications director for Mayor Ken Welch, said Welch is working on affordable housing issues. For example, last month the city announced the opening of an affordable housing community called Skyway Lofts in St. Pete. The rent is based on income.

Taylor said the deputy mayor plans to meet with the People's Council later this month. The mayor's office is waiting on the organization to confirm a time and date.