It aims to assist local governments in reducing home prices and expand down payment assistant programs for veterans, young families, and first-generation homeowners.
If you are like most Floridians renting or attempting to buy a home in the Sunshine State, the statistics are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. They are having a real impact on your life.
That is because Florida ranks number one in the US in housing unaffordability, with 56.5% of renters spending 30% or more of their income on housing. This places Miami, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville among the top 20 US cities with the fastest climbing rent prices.
“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, said during a statewide tour to discuss affordability issues across the state.
Adding to the problem, Crist says, are the large real estate investment firms that he calls “vultures” preying on renters and home buyers as they eat up the housing supply market in Florida’s neighborhoods.
In fact, according to recent reports, in some Florida markets one in four single-family homes are owned by investment companies. This could make it more difficult to bid for homes for regular home buyers using mortgages, especially those in low-income and minority neighborhoods.
Making It Easier to Compete in the Market
Crist has loudly criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis for not taking strong action against Wall Street real estate investors and not working with the federal government to drive down prices.
Under Crist’s plan, an appointed state “housing czar” will assist local governments in reducing home prices, and one way to stem the tide of rising property and rental prices could include setting limits on the number of single-family rental properties an investment firm can own in a given market.
Crist said he will also work 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.
Adding to the Problem
According to Crist, DeSantis has also made the housing crisis worse by signing legislation that cut in half the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which is intended for affordable housing.
Adding to the problem, the governor and previous lawmakers have also diverted money allocated to affordable housing to the General Revenue Fund to use for other purposes. This process, called “sweeping,” diverts money from the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund to be used for other things.
Crist, who is running to unseat DeSantis this year, announced that if elected, his administration “will not allow politicians to slash funds and resources for working Floridians.”