As rents continue to rise, many are forced to move out of state. As rents continue to rise, many are forced to move out of state.

The 2022 Democratic candidate for state governor promises to work with local governments to meet housing affordability goals across the state.

With some areas of Florida seeing rent hikes of 14 and 20% since January of 2021 and sky-high home prices, many residents of the Sunshine State have had to abandon their dreams of owning a home, while renters need to work an average of three minimum wage jobs just to cover their monthly payment.

Tampa, for example. has seen rent prices spiking by 24% since July, the highest increase in the nation. In fact, monthly rents are rising faster in Miami, Orlando, and Tampa than almost any other area of the country, despite wages increasing at a slower rate than the national average.

This has led to many Floridians without permanent housing having to stay in extended-stay motels where they can pay by the week. Others have had no other recourse than to move out of state.

On the other hand, those hoping to purchase a home have seen Florida home values spike to 26.7% over the past year alone.

“Families across the Sunshine State are being crushed by an outrageously high housing market. It’s unconscionable,” Charlie Crist, the 2022 Democratic candidate for Florida governor, told Floridians during a statewide tour to discuss affordability issues across the state.

Crist added that Gov. Ron DeSantis has made the housing crisis worse by, among other measures, signing legislation that cut in half the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The current US Representative agrees with Democrats that the state Legislature must provide these funds intended for affordable housing, and not “sweep” the dollars as has been done for more than a decade, to the tune of over a $2 billion shortfall.

“Unlike Governor DeSantis, our Affordable Florida for All plan doesn’t turn a blind eye to the crisis our state is facing,” said Crist, who announced that if he is elected, his administration will not allow politicians to slash funds and resources for working Floridians.

Crist’s Affordable Florida for All plan will restore housing funding that politicians spent elsewhere and invest in homeownership and affordable rental units. It also includes a path to expand and strengthen down payment assistance programs for veterans, young families, and first-generation homeowners looking to buy a home, as well as make rents more accessible for working Floridians. Crist also said he plans to appoint a Housing specialist to work with local governments to meet housing affordability goals across the state.

“Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, Floridians should be able to afford to live in Florida. Period,” he finalized.