Orange County rent control plan heads to November elections ballot

Rent control proposal passed county commission by 4-3 vote

The rent stabilization proposal, passed through the Orange County commission Wednesday in a close 4-3 vote, now heads to the Supervisor of Elections to be placed on the ballot in November. Commissioners Wednesday told News 6 that it will now be up to voters to decide.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The rent stabilization proposal, passed through the Orange County commission Wednesday in a close 4-3 vote, now heads to the Supervisor of Elections to be placed on the ballot in November.

Commissioners Wednesday told News 6 that it will now be up to voters to decide.

Commissioners Mayra Uribe and Emily Bonilla — the latter of whom introduced the plan back in April — are two of the four who voted in favor of placing the rent control ordinance on the ballot.

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“I don’t want to regulate rent. I don’t want to control landlords. I’m actually trying to find a solution for our housing problem,” Uribe said.

The plan has received pushback from housing experts and other members of the commission, who warned about the possible consequences of the plan.

An independent study that cost the county $60,000 found that the rent situation in Orange County is not unique and could not be solved at the local level, saying that the proposal could result in less rental housing and worse conditions for tenants.

Mayor Jerry Demings was one of the three members who voted against the plan.

Here’s what the ordinance includes:

  • The rent increase would be limited to the consumer price index (rate of inflation)
  • It would only impact multi-family structures with four or more units
  • In terms of oversight, it would largely be in the form of responding to complaints
  • It would be enforced through the civil citation process

“My reaction was that this was a great win for the people. It’s a historic moment for Orange County, and the people are going to benefit from this, and I can’t wait to see it implemented,” Bonilla told News 6.

The vote came after nearly two hours of public comment, in which 53 people spoke.

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About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.