FAA, AAGO Continue to Oppose Rent Control Efforts in Orange County

Advocacy News , Rent Control ,

On July 26, Orange County leaders formally asked their staff to draft a dangerous and misguided rent control measure that could end up on the November ballot. However, as Orange County's own study confirms, rent control cannot and will not address the region's affordability challenges. Instead, this failed policy will exacerbate them by discouraging future capital investment for building or maintaining rental housing and will jeopardize the existing rental housing inventory. For these reasons and more, the Florida Apartment Association (FAA) will continue to work closely with the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando (AAGO) to oppose any form of rent control in Orange County. The Board of County Commissioners is likely to vote on a formal ordinance as early as August 9. FAA and AAGO will keep members informed of relevant developments, such as a draft ordinance or call to action efforts, as they arise.

The Orlando metro region's population has increased by double digits in the past five years (10% increase). While the Orlando metro area only has less than 1% of the U.S. population, it currently has 2.4% of the apartments under construction in the nation. Make no mistake, imposing rent control will stop many already proposed and future housing construction projects dead in their tracks at a time when this new supply is desperately needed. Orange County leaders should look no further than St. Paul, where multifamily building permits are down 80% since the city enacted a rent control policy. The damage doesn't stop with new development, because rent control threatens existing housing stock, too. In today's competitive single-family housing market, rent control will incentivize tens of thousands of rental homes owned and operated by "mom and pop" landlords to go into the for-sale market, which would further reduce our much-needed supply. 

Orange County's third-party research study, which cites a considerable amount of academic research and data from failed rent control measures across the country, makes a compelling case for the negative consequences of rent control. The study also highlights that Orange County likely cannot meet the strict criteria established by Florida's rent control statute, which could result in costly legal battles at taxpayers’ expense, and more importantly, only make matters worse for the very renters they seek to help. 

Orange County, like many other Florida metros, is at a crossroads after years of housing construction lagging behind population growth. This growth, as well as the clear and convincing evidence against rent control, cannot be ignored. It is time for local leaders in Orange County to look inward for solutions, such as removing barriers that stifle the construction of housing or make it financially infeasible to build affordable or workforce housing, including excessive impact fees, delayed project approvals, and zoning restrictions.

The apartment industry has long been advocating for reforms such as:

  • Removing barriers that stifle the construction of housing. 
  • Reducing excessive impact fees.
  • Expediting permitting and project approvals.
  • Reforming zoning policies and more.

FAA and AAGO remain fully committed to continuing to work with the county and our partners in local government on these real solutions going forward. FAA members can rest assured that the association will continue to oppose rent control efforts across the state and keep them informed of updates as they become available.

Questions regarding FAA's advocacy efforts? 

If you have questions regarding FAA's advocacy efforts, please contact Amanda White, government affairs director, at amanda@faahq.org.