Apr 12, 2022 - Politics

Democrat Nikki Fried announces plan to end Florida's housing crisis

Illustration of a Rubik's cube in the shape of a house.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

In her campaign to become Florida's governor, Nikki Fried unveiled an aggressive plan to attack the state's affordable housing crisis that includes halting rent hikes and turning empty hotels and motels into emergency housing.

Driving the news: Fried, a Democrat and the state's commissioner of agriculture, detailed the plan Monday in Miami, the first stop on a campaign tour through six Florida cities over the next two weeks.

Why it matters: Rent and housing prices have skyrocketed in the past two years, driving middle class and poor residents out of the housing market.

Details: Fried told the Miami Herald that if elected she would declare a housing state of emergency, and:

  • Veto bills that divert money from the state's Sadowski funds for affordable housing.
  • Create a task force to address affordability.
  • Expand homestead exemptions from up to $50,000 to up to $100,000.
  • Offer other property tax exemptions for homeowners who only have one home.
  • Repeal a state law that prohibits local governments from imposing rent control.

What they're saying: “YIMBY Tampa applauds Nikki Fried for being the first candidate to announce a platform on what should be the defining issue for Floridians in our upcoming gubernatorial election,” Nathan Hagen, co-leader of YIMBY Tampa, tells Axios.

Yes, but: It’s not enough, he said. "Housing is a human right, and we need to find solutions which preserve access to it during an emergency, as we do with food, water, and other essentials."

The other side: "Florida Democrats like Fried suddenly wanting to offer solutions to a problem their own party's reckless policies created is the exact kind of gaslighting that will lose them the election in November," Joanna Rodriguez, spokesperson for the Republican Governors Association, told Axios.

  • She added that Gov. Ron DeSantis last year proposed the state's largest funding allocation for low-income and workforce housing in over a decade.

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