Tampa Tenant Union plans city hall rally demanding rent control

'In the middle of a pandemic, this massive increase in rents is pricing many out of their homes and even into the streets.'

click to enlarge By all indications, the hot housing market will likely shoot Tampa Bay's rents up even further. - CITYOFTAMPA/TWITTER
cityoftampa/Twitter
By all indications, the hot housing market will likely shoot Tampa Bay's rents up even further.
On Feb. 18, the Tampa Tenants Union (TTU) will host a rally at city hall—located at 315 E Kennedy Blvd.—to demand rent control as the housing crisis rages on.

While Tampa Bay was recently ranked by Zillow as the "hottest" housing market in the nation for homeowners, this spells bad news for renters, who already saw a drastic spike in rent last year.
"Tampa Bay's rent increased by a record 24% in 2021, the highest in nation," TTU wrote in a post announcing the rally. "In the middle of a pandemic, this massive increase in rents is pricing many out of their homes and even into the streets."

By all indications, the hot housing market will likely shoot Tampa Bay's rents up even further.

The union said that working families simply cannot afford these massive leaps in rental prices, as a majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

According to Hillsborough and Pinellas Clerk of Court records obtained by CL Tampa Bay, over 8,400 Writs of Possession—the final stage in the eviction process—were issued in 2021. Thousands more evictions were filed with the courts and are being processed.

And currently, even "affordable" housing in Tampa Bay can still make those looking for housing rent burdened—spending 30% or more of their income on rent.
According to 2021 Income Limits and Rent Limits data from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, a one person household that makes $41,350 a year can still be charged $1,107 a month for one-bedroom rental under affordable housing guidelines. That's 32% of the renters' income. Paying over 30% of one's income on rent officially makes them rent burdened, leaving them with less money to pay for other important necessities of life like food and transportation.

The City of Tampa has told CL that Florida Statue 166.043, which restricts rent control, presents an obstacle that could be costly and complicated. But she did not say rent control is impossible. The rally comes six days before city council hosts a workshop about a "rent stabilization ordinance" on Feb. 24.
TTU said that with skyrocketing rents, there has never been a more necessary time to fight for rent control than now. 

"Join us to send a clear message to city council: working people of Tampa demand rent control, nothing less!," TTU wrote.