‘Our residents are suffering:’ Orange commissioner calls for rent stabilization at meeting

Orange County Commission wants to hear options

Orange County Commissioners will revisit a proposed rent stabilization plan aimed at putting a cap on rent increases at a public hearing on June 7.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orange County Commissioners will revisit a proposed rent stabilization plan aimed at putting a cap on rent increases at a public hearing on June 7.

They voted to return in June to further discuss and listen to more research and options from a consultant.

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Commissioner Emily Bonilla presented the plan which calls for a rent hike cap of 5% -- or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. It applies for anything with 4 or more units. For example, if you’re paying $1,000 per month for rent, the rent could not go up more than $50 per month. The cap would last for one year, and would have to be approved by Orange County voters first.

“Our residents are suffering, and we need to do all we can to try and ease our pain,” said Commissioner Bonilla.

“We’re never going to change this cycle unless we really look into changing it,” said Orange County Commissioner Mayra Urib,e referring to the need for more affordable housing.

But then there are people who oppose the plan altogether, like Matt Zaccarino. He’s a landlord who said the recent eviction moratorium set him back big time.

“It’s not that I want to make more money it’s that I have to pay my bills,” said Zaccarino. “The cost of doing business has increased.”

At Tuesday’s commission meeting, residents spoke out about the skyrocketing rent prices and their calls for change.

“I’ve been homeless since 2017,” said mother of four Dana Lazaro.

Daniel Ramos said his rent recently went up by $500. “I’m paying $1,453 in a small one-bedroom apartment. It’s something wrong with that,” Ramos said.

Last month, News 6 anchor Justin Warmoth took a closer look at skyrocketing rent prices on “The Weekly.” Watch below:


About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.