TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "When you see these families, I think the concern I always have is as an advocate is to think what is the best way to protect these people knowing that their options are few. Their kids and their families looking to them to be their main structure of support," says Giovanni Bush.
Rising rent and more evictions--it's increased over the year--that trend is being seen here in the Big Bend. According to Florida Tax Watch dot org, rent has gone up over since 2021 to 15.4% percent in Tallahassee alone. Legal services of North Florida is a private non-profit law firm spanning 16 counties across Florida.
Giovanni Bush is an attorney with the non-profit says they have also noticed a trend of housing cases but with specific groups.
"A lot of single mothers unfortunately— people just getting back to work after the pandemic. People who have suffered disabilities or really struggle financially that are starting to get there feet back underneath are now really struggling with the rent increases as well," says Bush.
College student Kaitlyn Kremkau has been living in Tallahassee her entire life and has felt the effects of rent increase firsthand like many others--her situation leading to an eviction.
"Being evicted from the apartment I was in— I think it's really hard because it causes more stress on the person," says Kremkau.
According to Legal Services of North Florida they have seen a 22% increase in eviction applications from 2019 to 2020. As for 2021, they saw nearly 1000 eviction applications. Now, Leon County Commissioners are wanting to do something about it.
With an ordinance that will make it mandatory for a landlord to notify a housing tenant if there is a rent increase of 5 % or more. They will now gather an analysis to see who directly is impacted by the rise in rent prices.
"Just getting notice doesn't necessarily guarantee you have another place you can move into that's affordable," says Dozier.
A problem many residents are facing…
"It's really hard and it causes more stress than it's worth," says Kremkau.