St. Petersburg Tenants Union to present city with ordinances that could help protect renters

SPTU will present to St. Pete’s Housing, Land Use and Transportation Committee on Thursday.

click to enlarge St. Pete Tenants Union holds a press conference in July. - Dave Decker
Dave Decker
St. Pete Tenants Union holds a press conference in July.

On Thursday morning, St. Petersburg Tenants Union (SPTU) will stand before the city’s Housing Land Use and Transportation Committee and present two ordinances that could help protect renters .

One suggested ordinance called the “Source of Income Ordinance” would prevent landlords from discriminating against tenants based on how they get money to pay rent. This would primarily benefit renters who get housing vouchers, use government assistance programs, and other legal sources of income that are sometimes discriminated against. 

According to SPTU, landlord denials based on this and other types of assistance income are high. A recent Pew Research study found that landlords denied rentals to government assistance voucher holders across the country. In some areas, more than 70% of rental applicants were denied based upon having this type of income.

A similar “Tenants Bill of Rights” ordinance was passed by Hillsborough County in March of 2021.

The other ordinance SPTU is presenting would help give month-to-month renters more notice if their leases aren't up for renewal. As of now, landlords in St. Petersburg can give renters a 15-day notice regarding the termination of a month-to-month lease. The ordinance would extend that notification period to 30 days. The ordinance also calls on the city to expand the 90-day notice of intent to develop all occupied residential units. 

In a post about the presentation of the resolution, SPTU called on community members to contact city council members and voice their support for the resolution. The group has created a call to action document to help those who want to have their voices heard get in contact with the city.

The presentation of the ordinances are included on the meeting’s agenda, among other items and the meeting is set to take place at St. Pete City Hall—located at 175 5th St. N—at 10:50 a.m.

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Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia has written for The Nation, Investigative Reporters & Editors Journal, the USA Today Network and various other news outlets. When he's not writing, Justin likes to make music, read, play basketball and spend time with loved ones. 

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