ORLANDO, Fla. -
Democratic lawmakers got together on Thursday to discuss Orlando’s affordable housing crisis. The need for more such housing has only grown in recent months as the renters market and inflation have skyrocketed.
A staggering number as rents in Orange County have risen an average of 30%. The costs are pricing average Floridians out and creating record evictions.
Allison Krall, the CEO of Coalition for Homeless of Central Florida, says "33% of the people that entered our shelters are first-time homeless." She added that the coalition had over 1,500 filings in the month of June, "which is the highest number by far than any month in the last four years."
Local Orange County Democratic lawmakers gathered at Lake Eola, calling on the legislator to take action. They said the state needs to create more relief for homeowners and renters while creating more affordable housing.
"We need more incentives to build affordable housing at the state level and we need zoning reform so that we can actually build high-density affordable housing in urban areas," said Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.
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The Coalition for Homeless of Central Florida said, to live in Orlando, you would have to make $27.69 an hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment. For a two-bedroom apartment, you would need to earn $31.92. That is about 30% more than the national average.
"We have to get really creative about looking at sources of money that we already have in front of us to build more affordable housing," said Rep. Anna Eskamani.
In the Orlando area for every 100 people in need of affordable housing, only 18 units are available. That is far below the Central Florida average of 26 per 100.
"You have folks who may have been able to purchase a home a couple of years ago have been priced out," said Krall. "They are now in the rental market, and so they’re helping to contribute to the higher rent cost."
FOX 35 News reached out to some local Republican lawmakers about how they would fix the affordable housing crisis but we did not hear back from them before this story was published.