Gov. DeSantis’s Policies Grew His State, So He Approves $711 million Affordable Housing Package- Media Still Blame Him!

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“A historic $711 million will go towards affordable housing in Florida under a bill signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis Wednesday.”

One of the charges thrown at Governor DeSantis by his opponents is rising cost of housing in Florida. Even though Florida housing prices are a bargain compared to my former home state of California, the cost of housing (both rent and purchase), indeed, has been steadily rising over last two years.

Frustration of longtime residents with rising costs is understandable. Influx of wealthy people from California and New York makes Florida housing market extremely competitive. While high tech layoffs and decreasing job opportunities brought California real estate market to a virtual standstill, Florida market is booming.

Rising cost of living has been the only downside of Governor DeSantis’ exceptionally effective policies. They made Florida the fastest growing state in the country, and media thinks this is just terrible. The Governor’s “authoritarianism” is fully responsible for rising housing prices, and he’s been very reluctant to wave his magic wand to bring prices down.

The media did not have a similar concern when housing prices in California made living there completely unaffordable. For a decade, high tech companies of Silicon Valley over hired people and paid them inflated salaries, creating unhealthy housing bubble. It became essentially impossible for a middle-class family to afford a house in Bay Area. Younger families were forced deep into East Bay, making their daily commute 3 hours long.

However, because California is owned by Democrats, unaffordable housing was just a sign of “good governance,” according to the media. Gavin Newsom made the state so attractive, the narrative went, that everyone and their drunk cousin moved to California. Paying millions for a barely standing shed was a small price to pay for all the “perks” of California, and it was easily offset by high salaries (for some). California housing crisis was attributed to the work of the free market and was never laid at the feet of Gavin Newsom.

Of course, the media applies very different standards when they cover a Republican governor. If a crisis is happening in a Democrat-run state, it’s solely due to natural causes and bad luck. But anything happening under a Republican’s watch is squarely the fault of the Governor.

In reality, there is very little the government can do to address supply and demand issues in the real estate market. They can’t impose price controls, or magically produce more apartments to fill the growing demand for rentals. Florida’s population have been growing a lot faster than housing availability, and hence, the demand far outpaced the supply, driving prices up.

Last year, Governor DeSantis introduced the Hometown Heroes program. That program provided down payment and closing cost assistance for first responders, educators, and medical professionals to help them buy their first homes. Yesterday, the Governor signed the law to expand that program, and additionally, invest money into new affordable housing projects.

Even though living in Florida has been amazing, it pains me that young families have a tougher time affording a home, partially because of people like me moving into the state and driving prices up. Buying your first home is a huge undertaking that may put a strain on a family budget, depriving children of much-needed activities and fun adventures.

I and my husband struggled to afford our first little house as a young family in the unaffordable Bay Area. Over the years, however, I learned to navigate the real estate market. Designing and renovating houses became my passion, and I am looking forward to creating more welcoming homes for my fellow Floridians.

By Tatyana Larina

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