Rent Hikes Cause Highly Skilled Workers To Reconsider Staying In Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. – According to a study by Online Mortgage Advisor, Tampa ranks fourth in the U.S. for cities that are becoming less affordable to rent property. 

Because of rent hikes, highly skilled and talented workers are reconsidering staying the Bay area. 

“I’ve been in Florida for about eight years,” says Kim Willoughby. As soon as rent went up at her apartment complex, she says so did the inventory of discarded furniture at the trash compactor. 

“They’re bailing,” Willoughby said after rent went up by 20%. Tenants were either leaving early or not renewing their leases. 

“Yes, they’re bailing!,” said Kim Willoughby. After rent went up by 20% at her apartment complex so did the inventory of discarded furniture at the trash compactor. She adds ppl are either leaving leases early or not renewing because they can’t afford it. @BN9 #AffordableHousing

— Fadia Mayté Patterson M.S. (@FadiaTVNews) February 20, 2022

Willoughby is a nurse at the Moffitt Cancer Center and says the clock is ticking for her to make the same decision on whether she’ll leave Tampa or stay. 

“My point when I went to the leasing office is that you’re increasing my rent by 20% and I got a 2% increase on my job. It doesn’t even make mathematical sense.” 

She says she makes up for the increased cost by working overtime. She says the rent hike is affecting the local workforce that is already rent burdened. Some, she says don’t have the option to work overtime to sustain a living. Willoughby fears that she will eventually be priced out of Tampa. Her current lease expires December 1, 2022, but she won’t know how much and if rent will increase again until mid-October.

“What I’m trying to do now is to make a Plan B. What I’m I gonna do where am I gonna go,” she said. 

A Study by Zillow shows renters are spending nearly half of their income on housing. 

Affordable Housing Advocates are urging the City of Tampa to declare a State of Emergency. 

Stephen Glaude is the President of The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development. The Washington D.C. organization secured rent stabilization for D.C. tenants. 

“We still started eight years too late and we’re still covering ground,” said Glaude. “We’re still losing long-term residents. We’re still losing our middle-class homeowners and renters.” 

He came to Tampa to encourage city and community leaders to get ahead of the problem. 

Glaude shared that many affordable housing contracts developers have with the Department of Housing and Urban Development are expiring. 

“There are incentives for developers who 40 years ago took a certificate from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that provided them subsidy and those are expiring and they have every incentive to sell at market rate and so the city should preserve the existing affordable housing so that when you build new housing your actually having affordability in Tampa.” 

Thursday, City Council will host a rent stabilization workshop at 9 a.m.

The City Attorney will outline what action if any Tampa can legally take since there are currently no Florida laws that limit rent increases from year to year. 

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