Today, Representatives Fentrice Driskell, Anna Eskamani, and Dotie Joseph joined a Jacksonville resident and homeowner to discuss the ongoing crisis of skyrocketing rents and housing costs across the state. Even as a new report warns that these high costs could drag down the state’s economy, Florida Republicans like Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis have put their own political agendas ahead of responding to the ongoing crisis.
See below for highlights from the press call and watch a full recording here
“We believe that every Floridian deserves the freedom to be healthy, prosperous, and safe. But for far too long, Republicans in the state have ignored the housing crisis…We have data that shows that Floridians are the most cost burdened renters in the country, with over half of renters spending more than 30% of their paychecks on housing…All throughout the 2022 session, we said, ‘please set aside the culture wars…let’s focus on the issues that everyday Floridians want us to focus on…like affordability, with rental and with property insurance rates…But Florida Republicans have failed to respond…We got here because of a failure of Republican action. We’ll stay here because of a failure of Republican action,” said Rep. Fentrice Driskell
“I think what’s important to remember is that we’re not here by coincidence, we’re in this crisis because of decisions made by Republicans for decades in Florida. And of course, by Senator Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, who actually voted against some of these programs that would help their citizens, that would help their constituents navigate these everyday struggles. I cannot stress enough just how offensive that is, when we’re looking at a person who’s facing a rent increase of 20, 30 percent, and programs that might have helped them are out of reach because of decisions by Republicans. […]
When it comes to trying to put money back in people’s hands to go towards things like rent, things like essential goods, what we’re seeing are Republicans at every level of government drag their feet, and if anything, actually judge and shame and want to tax, the very people who need this support,” said Rep. Anna Eskamani
“Democrats at the federal level have decided that they want to respond to the needs of our constituents. So they are using those [American Rescue Plan funds] to help expand the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which for the first time will help those whose rent increased. […]
Make no mistake, the affordable housing crisis is affecting Democrats and Republicans alike…But the people, the GOP in control, they do not care. The Florida senators that we have elected at the federal level, consistently put their own political agendas ahead of the needs of Floridians. And we — Democrats and Republicans, no party affiliates, whoever — are paying that price,” said Rep. Dotie Joseph