The last two weeks, Governor Ron DeSantis has taken heat for using migrants as political pawns in order to distract from his extreme abortion ban and the fact that he is doing next to nothing to address skyrocketing housing costs for people who desperately need the relief. It’s making him vulnerable here in Florida.
DeSantis has actually been working hand-in-hand with wealthy donors and developers to keep housing costs high while sticking working Floridians with the bill per recent reports. This should debunk DeSantis attempts to cast himself as a populist hero for working class Floridians. Instead it furthers the notion he’s building an Oligarchy with fascist strains.
Earlier this year, DeSantis attempted to cut a deal with The Vestcor Companies, one of his major donors, to pass legislation that would allow developers to convert publicly-funded affordable housing units into high-priced condos.
This came after DeSantis went to extraordinary lengths to allow Florida Power & Light (FPL) to raise energy rates by a record $5 billion after receiving $3 million in campaign donations from FPL’s network of dark-money organizations.
Keep in mind FPL was responsible for the biggest election fraud scandal the nation saw in 2020, and it exclusively benefited DeSantis’ Florida GOP.
Per Seeking Rents: Ron DeSantis tried to help a developer pass a bill making it easier to turn affordable housing into high-priced apartments
- Top aides to Gov. Ron DeSantis tried to help an apartment company run by a big campaign contributor pass legislation that could have forced thousands of Floridians living in affordable apartments out of their homes.
- The emails show that senior staffers to DeSantis worked with lobbyists for The Vestcor Companies on a proposal during the 2022 legislative session that would have made it easier for apartment developers like Vestcor to convert rent-controlled, affordable-housing units that were built with public subsidies into higher-priced, market-rate apartments and condos.
- DeSantis aides also met to discuss the proposal with John Rood, the founder and chairman of Vestcor, according to the Florida Times-Union. Rood, who was once made ambassador to The Bahamas by former President George W. Bush, is one of the biggest Republican donors in Florida. Campaign-finance records show that Rood and his companies have given nearly $400,000 to DeSantis and the Republican Party of Florida in the four years DeSantis has served as governor. (DeSantis has also called Rood a personal friend.)
- Vestcor’s proposal drew angry condemnation from advocates for affordable and attainable housing, who said the company and its supporters were trying to carve out a loophole that would have led to the loss of as many as 40,000 affordable apartments across Florida — at a time when skyrocketing rents and home prices have left the state with a critical shortage of attainable housing.
This must be shared with as many Floridians as possible as soon as possible.