Demonstrators decry rising costs of rent in Jacksonville

Local activist groups including Florida Rising, Florida For All and the Jacksonville Community Action Committee gathered for a rally Tuesday evening in front of City Hall, speaking out against rising rent costs.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local activist groups including Florida Rising, Florida For All and the Jacksonville Community Action Committee gathered for a rally Tuesday evening in front of City Hall, speaking out against rising rent costs.

They’re calling for a more equitable distribution of tax dollars from the city budget to address the issues locally.

Activists say the city budget needs to be directed toward creating and staffing an office for tenant advocates with a landlord registry to hold landlords accountable.

Christina Kittle is a member of Florida Rising. She says she’d like to hear the city declare an affordable housing state of emergency.

“Once we have a state of emergency, that opens the door for us to have rent stabilization and come up with legislation that can help out renters,” Kittle said.

According to rent.com, the average price of a one bedroom apartment in Jacksonville is $1,370 -- up $178 from a year ago ($1,191) and an increase of 15%.

The average price of a two bedroom apartment is $1,576 -- up $169 from a year ago ($1,407) and an increase of 12%

Many people spoke out about the rising costs during the Tuesday evening meeting of the Jacksonville City Council.

“Working people can’t afford these astronomical prices,” Marie Peterson told the council.

“I go from $850 to $1,200 with no raise,” Thomas Jordan said. “People out there are homeless. It makes me sad. Some people can’t pay rent.”

Councilman Matt Carlucci said the council is working to address the issue. He said there will be an emphasis on the affordable housing issue and that the council plans to have a special committee. He issued a statement that reads:

“There is a trend for tiny houses being built in their own developments that are less than 600 sg. ft. that should be more affordable. That trend is just starting to catch a little traction. The city Council is going to have a special committee on affordable housing and other issues.

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that a new workforce housing complex is coming to the San Marco area. The $43 million project will be located along Philips Highway and have 172 apartment units.

It will be made up of a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units that will rent from $830 to $1,200 a month.


About the Author:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.