ORLANDO, Fla. – A roundtable discussion tonight will discuss the impact rising rents and inflation are having on the Orlando area’s biggest industry: tourism.
The discussion at 6 p.m. Monday night at the Bear Creek Recreation Complex will talk to theme park workers, specifically — the latest in a string of discussions on how to tackle rising rents.
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Union leaders say the high rent prices are driving families out of their homes, while the cost of gas and food also continues to go up. However, hospitality wages are not keeping up.
At a recent meeting, one tenant said his rent went up 23%.
Last week, Orange County commissioners passed an ordinance requiring landlords to give 60 days notice if they’re going to raise rents by more than 5%.
But the big debate right now is whether to limit just how big those annual rent increases can be.
That’s something commissioners would have to consider passing soon in order to get it on the November ballot.
Kadejha Reid, who has worked for Disney for the past three years, told News 6 that this last year has been the hardest.
“I had no choice but to renew my lease because I couldn’t find anything cheaper...” she said. “I can barely afford to buy groceries.”
Xiomary Rivera, a housekeeper employed by Disney, said she came to Florida from Puerto Rico in hopes of a better life — but soon found out how difficult it was to make a living.
“Right now, I’m living with a friend in the living room and a mattress on the floor because I cannot pay anymore,” Rivera said.
She added that she makes $17 per hour working for Disney, which isn’t enough to pay for her costs.
“We are going to end up everybody in the streets because who can pay the rents that they are putting out there?” she told News 6.
Orange County Commissioner Maribel Gomez Cordero attended the Monday night meeting to find possible solutions.
“What can we do right now is one of the questions that I have that I haven’t received no answer,” Cordero said.