In The News - Week of 12/12
From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Florida lawmakers OK insurance changes with no help for homeowners
TALLAHASSEE — The Republican-led Legislature approved a bill Wednesday that lawmakers say will prop up Florida’s crumbling property insurance market but without immediate relief for homeowners faced with exorbitant premium hikes and canceled policies.
The House voted 84-33 along party lines to approve the same bill the Senate approved the day before. Two Democrats, Reps. Bruce Antone of Orlando and Alison Tant of Tallahassee, did not vote.
The House also voted unanimously in favor of a $750 million disaster relief program that includes property tax breaks for properties damaged or destroyed by natural disasters and a $500 million toll-road discount program for high-use commuters.
Having completed its agenda for the special session, the Legislature adjourned Wednesday afternoon.
There’s still aid left for renters struggling to pay the rent. Here’s what communities are offering.
Many renters are still struggling to afford their rent after massive rent hikes, and various South Florida cities are offering aid to help.
While the overall growth of rents has started to slow, rents are still significantly higher than they were a year ago. The typical rent in South Florida is about $2,827, a 16% increase from the year before.
“Wages have not kept up with the rising cost of living. It remains the major issue for many residents who are struggling to pay the rent here,” said Linda Taylor, CEO of H.O.M.E.S., a nonprofit that helps find affordable housing for low-income residents.
Even worse, there’s little indication that rents will drop down substantially, meaning that renters’ budgets will likely remain tight for the foreseeable future.