ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - It’s getting harder and harder to find affordable places to live whether it be apartments or purchasing a home.
Local leaders are forming a new Affordable Housing for All Task Force to come up with solutions to the lack of affordable housing in Orlando before it gets any worse.
Officials say this affordable housing crisis has been building since the Great Recession in 2009.
“As many as 30 percent of the people who live in Orange County are constantly rent stressed,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s latest report, Orlando makes the list of cities with the most severe shortages of affordable rental homes available for low-income households.
The report said there are only 13 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 low-income renters. That’s worse than Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Houston.
“We have to increase the available housing stock we have here in this community that is affordable for most of our Orange County residents,” Demings said. “We have to try to increase the wages of people who work in this area”
Mayor Demings is proposing public and private partnerships to address issues like rent assistance, down payment assistance and repurposing older commercial structures into housing units.
“What we need to do is change our housing codes and our land use and our zoning to be more flexible so that builders have more options to create a more diverse housing stock,” said Mitchell Glasser, the manager of the Orange County Housing Community Development Division.
A change some community members at the meeting said they would like to see trickle down to current homeowners so that they could build additions onto their properties known as accessory dwelling units.
Leaders said that option is also on the table, adding that it is going to take a social and economic response to take on this affordable housing crisis.