ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A St. Petersburg city council committee voted against a new resolution Thursday morning for rent control.
This was part of the regularly scheduled meeting this morning to discuss capping the amount of money property owners and landlords can charge for monthly rent over a 12-month period.
What You Need To Know
- City council committee votes against rent control resolution
- Meeting was aimed at capping amount of money property owners and landlords can charge
- Council member Brandy Gabbard addressed people's struggle to pay rent but also voiced concerns
- St. Petersburg City Council, Agendas, Recorded Council Meetings and Live Meetings
But that measure to help with affordable housing failed with three council members voting no.
The no votes came from council members Brandy Gabbard, Gina Driscoll and Ed Montanari. Councilman Richie Floyd was the yes vote in a 3-1 tally that keeps the issue from reaching the full council.
The same four council members then voted, 4-0, to look into re-evaluating the use of American Rescue Plan dollars.
Gabbard addressed the struggle to pay rent, but she also voiced her concerns about rent control.
“We would then be putting restrictions on those who are already providing that level of housing,” Gabbard said. “That would be a huge issue for me. i certainly understand that we have a crisis, and i hear that but implementing something on those who are the good players in this arena, to me, is very incredibly challenging, could just exacerbate our problem.”
Gabbard also cited potential legal ramifications of rent control.
In December, City Council asked attorneys to research if deeming a housing emergency could allow the city to put an ordinance referendum on the ballot for voters to decide.
The vote Thursday impacts residents like Stacey Rush. She lost her apartment last month after she says her lease ended and her rent doubled in price.
Rush protested for months with the People’s Council group, asking city leaders to provide relief for people like her who can’t afford rising rent prices. Rush says she’s left with few options. Right now, she’s living on her daughter’s couch, thinking of ways to make more money like selling art.
Rush said she’s trying to save up for one of those tiny homes because that’s all she will likely be able to afford. In the meantime, she’s hoping leaders come up with a plan to help people like her. City council members voted to reevaluate how they spend federal dollars.