TAMPA, Fla. — Skyrocketing rent and soaring home prices in the city of Tampa are causing a housing crisis. And, on Thursday, the city council discussed the possibility of rent control.
At least 50 people showed up to share their housing situations with council members and encouraged them to declare a housing state of emergency, which would open the door for rent control measures within the city.
Tiffany Judge was one of the people at the rally. She's been saving money for more than a decade and building her credit in hopes of buying her first home. But, that's not possible anymore with rising housing prices. She says she can barely afford rent.
"As a mother, my first responsibility is to make sure we have a roof over our head, food, and lights so no matter what, I try to make sure that gets done," said Judge.
Dozens of people held signs that said, "Children are being displaced" and "Housing is a human right."
Inside City Hall, council discussed the possibility of rent control in Florida’s third-largest city but options are limited due to strict requirements by Florida law.
Instead, council members voted to move forward with other options aimed at offering relief to struggling tenants, including tapping into a $1 million fund for eligible residents.