Tampa’s hot real estate market leaving longtime residents in the cold

Tampa may be one of the hottest real estate markets right now, but its affordability is not so popular. Rising rents are leaving some longtime residents with few options. That’s why county and city leaders met residents Saturday morning to discuss the problem and find solutions.

Right now, the Bay Area real estate market is hotter than ever. Demand is soaring partly thanks to new out-of-state residents in search of a warmer climate with a cheaper cost of living and fewer pandemic restrictions. However, the influx is creating problems for long-time residents.

"We have to be able to have a way that everyone can be able to live. Those who are Floridians, those who are Tampanians who have been here living all their life. They shouldn't have to be forced out," District 5 Tampa City Council Member Orlando Gudes said.

In 2021, rent prices in the Bay Area increased by a record 24 percent. That's according to a recent analysis by the commercial real estate data firm CoStar group which included data from Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties.

READ: ‘Closing deals in heels’: Netflix’s ‘Selling Tampa’ highlights Ybor real estate agents during property boom

"We have a crisis on our hands so I believe as we go back to Tallahassee that's going to be the conversation the crisis in the state of Florida as it relates to housing whether it's rental or homeownership," State Rep. Dianne Hart said.

Saturday morning, local leaders, including Florida State Rep. Dianne Hart, held a special meeting with residents inside the Hillsborough Community College Auditorium to hear concerns.

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"Even in a low-income area when they go up on the rent, you're just barely able to afford getting through that month," Adajah Gilmore said.

Residents like Gilmore are frustrated and feel little progress has been made to fix the problem. It's why she and many others came out to Saturday's meeting to hear from leadership including several members of the Tampa City Council and county commission in hopes of finding some solutions. 

"Let us know how we can help. Let us know the direction so we can go back to our legal and make sure that it's done properly so that when you the voters vote on it, it will be here to stay," District 1 Tampa City Councilmember Joseph Citro said.


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