Orange County leaders push forward discussion on controlling rent increases

The Orange County Commission is discussing possible solutions to the county's rent crisis. It comes as prices in the area are up nearly 30% compared to 2021.

Some renters tell FOX 35 News their rent is going up anywhere from $200 to $500 a month. Commissioners want to cap increases at 5%

Officials want to discuss options like rent control, but that report may keep it from happening. 

Orange County Commissioners heard from GAI Consultants on Tuesday who did an independent study to come up with possible solutions to the city's rent crisis.

The consultants gave the county three possible solutions: a Rent Stabilization Ordinance, Rent Increase Notice Ordinance, or Emergency Rental Assistance Program. However, they warned that the Rent Stabilization Ordinance could have more disadvantages than advantages. In addition, due to state law, the rent control would only apply to 140,000 units.

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Some county commissioners argued the study was not well-researched and biased, while the consultants disagreed.

After five hours of discussion, the county commission voted to push the Rent Stabilization Ordinance forward by discussing it even further in a special session sometime this month. If passed, it would be ultimately up to the voters and on the November ballot.

At the meeting, landlords brought up concerns over rent control.

"You would be surprised how many people in the industry are working to try to provide affordable housing," said one landlord. "There’s a lot of interest in getting to the same goal. But rent control is not one."

But, residents said they believed rent was going up too much, as some are seeing increases anywhere from $300-$500, or even higher. 

"I like many people have to have multiple jobs just to live, and then I’m not living," said an Orange County resident. "I’m just working constantly just so I can have a roof and that’s not living."