Chris King: Florida housing prices are bad; Ron DeSantis makes it worse

Affordable Housing
While Florida families struggle to afford rent, Ron DeSantis is playing politics.

Housing in Florida is more unaffordable than ever. And unfortunately for all of us, the policies of Gov. Ron DeSantis are making it worse every year.

Under DeSantis, there has been no vision, no compassion, and no eye to the future housing needs of Florida. He touts the sheer number of people moving into our state as a badge of honor, without bothering to care if these new transplants have any place to live. In fact, last year alone, DeSantis signed a law permanently cutting the housing affordability trust fund in half. This comes on top of year after year of the legislature’s cuts and DeSantis’ veto pen. In case it wasn’t already crystal clear whether our Governor cares about skyrocketing rents, he failed to mention housing affordability even once during his hourlong State of the State address.

While Florida families struggle to afford rent, DeSantis is playing politics.

Look around the skyline of any major Florida city and you’ll see plenty of construction. As more and more people flock to our state, these new high-rise buildings and sprawling developments might seem like all good news, but beneath the excitement of this construction is an alarming trend. These new buildings are not accessible for the average Florida family, but exclusive luxury condominiums and high-priced apartments for the wealthy. With out-of-control rents and home values pushing people farther and farther from the vitality and opportunity of urban areas, it doesn’t take long to realize that Florida’s housing crisis is getting worse, not better.

Thirty years ago, Gov. Lawton Chiles saw the need for affordable housing in our growing state and established the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund, a progressive, forward-looking policy designed to keep housing accessible to all. The Sadowski Fund supports the development of rentals and housing that everyday Floridians can afford, providing an important counterbalance to the economics that favor housing development solely for the wealthy. Sadowski also opens doors to veterans, young families, and workers to achieve homeownership, supporting a market for building or investing in workforce housing and other economically accessible property. The vision for the trust fund was that all Floridians — teachers, firefighters, servers, and seniors — should be able to find housing they can afford in the city of their choice.

So, what went wrong?

Sadly, years of shortsightedness and politicians with their hands in the Trust Fund laid the foundation for our problems today. Even after the Great Recession subsided and the state budget recovered, many politicians in Tallahassee still act like Sadowski belongs to them — not you. Years of successive sweeps have stolen over $2 billion from our housing trust fund. That’s $2 billion in lost affordable apartments, veterans housing, and homeownership initiatives for average Floridians.

So how do we fix it? We need bold ideas and leadership who knows how to get things done.

A few weeks ago, I joined Charlie Crist as he announced his affordable housing plan for Florida right here in Orlando, ground zero for Florida’s affordable housing crisis. Unlike DeSantis, Charlie is committed to actually solving this crisis, not just ignoring it. Charlie will not only repeal the DeSantis cuts but fully restore and replenish the Sadowski funds that Tallahassee has stolen over the years.

Charlie will also appoint a Florida housing “czar,” a national housing expert to guide our state’s resources to areas and initiatives most in need. No more leaving cities and counties to fend for themselves. As Governor, Charlie will support local decision-makers as they work toward housing affordability goals based on the needs of each community. Further, his plan to expand first-time homebuyer assistance will make a big difference for veterans and young families and increase Black homeownership, making sure that average families will be able to compete in the free market.

As an affordable housing advocate and entrepreneur, I know from experience that Charlie’s plan will move Florida in the right direction on housing, and I’m glad to support the bold ideas he is pursuing. If you want a Governor who cares about housing affordability and has a rock-solid plan to get it done, Charlie Crist is your candidate. It’s not enough to say we will stop making things worse, we need to aggressively undo the damage that years of mismanagement have caused. Charlie Crist is committed to a true housing moonshot and will back it up with the resources and expertise to see it through.

With rents through the roof and the price of a house out of reach for most Floridians, it hurts me to see middle-class and working families struggling to get by while DeSantis stands in the way of progress.

With Charlie Crist as Governor, I know that he will get the job done and make safe, clean, and affordable housing a reality for all Floridians.

___

Chris King is the CEO of Elevation Financial Group, an affordable housing provider based in Orlando, and was the 2018 Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov. of Florida. You can find him on social media @ChrisKingFL.

Guest Author


10 comments

  • Tom

    February 9, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Just more Dem party hackery.
    So the Gov is to stop home buying?
    You know whose responsible hack King?
    Tyrannical incompetent Dem Govs who brought Midwest and NE states to closure. People are fleeing to Florida’s freedom, jobs , education. Schools, hope, opportunity and happy quality of life. Spare us with your dogma.

    What are you offering? America’s Governor has offered full allotment in affordable housing funding.

    My goodness, what a bunch of cry eyes.
    The state document transfer tax on housing goes to affordability.

  • politics

    February 9, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    Well they know about scam and they still run to it.they even pay extra always ask 100% the value
    Plus affordable housing ya all need to pool together buy land and begin yourselves because no one stopping the run away train

  • politics

    February 9, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    housing is a run away train go 100% higher then the value

  • Tom

    February 9, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    Whatever your moniker means, your comments are meaningless. What is he supposed to do? Put a fence up? Stop sales? What is this?

    People are fleeing Midwest and Northeast Dem Gov states. They can’t stand living under tyrant Blue state Govs. Florida is freedoms example in the USA. How is this hack who ran for Lt Gov get off blaming the Gov? Spare us. Just a cheap political attack. Is he related to Cava Levine.

  • politics

    February 9, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    200%

  • Dicobservative

    February 9, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    Unmmm. Hello!!!? If the transplants can’t find a place to live, then why are they moving into Florida? Let’s see. Maybe they are so desperate to get out of states like New York and California? Why would they be so desperate? Most likely they are sick and tired of the high taxes and Covid restrictions in their respective states. The influx of people into our state is driving the market up, not the govenor. Governor Desantis is doing a fasting job! Look at it like this…if you don’t agree with the way things are here in Florida, you have the option to move to another state and make some room for those of us who support our way of life and our govenor doing his best to preserve it.

  • Wanda

    February 10, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    Ron DeSantis is a complete moron he has no idea about anything,he has no IQ and ran he only woke by 2 votes can’t see him doing anything for our state except try to kill people by letting Covid spread he is a ass wipe a trump turd get rid of the nut vote him out he will not get my vote this time

    • Tom

      February 10, 2022 at 6:43 pm

      LMAO.
      Yes Yale and Harvard educated.
      DeSantis is America’s Governor, you fool. U must be related to crazy Alex, abs Red Sonja.
      Please go away, nobody wants your vote. You didn’t vote for him before.
      DeSantis wins bigly! W H next in 24.

  • Rose

    February 10, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    Doesn’t matter where he went, he is still the worse governor we could have. Hope he goes down the drain, like his orange teacher.

    • Tom

      February 10, 2022 at 9:29 pm

      Oh please Rose, the liberal dum tard hate. Go away.

Comments are closed.


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