AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN MIAMI FACING DIRE STRAIGHTS
With Miami-Dade County employee salaries averaging $50,000 a year, affordable housing seems to be weighing heavy on tenants struggling to make ends meet. According to recent studies, home values in Miami-Dade have rocketed by 66% compared to the 14% rise in worker wages over the ten-year period leading up to 2017. Though construction is evidently active in and around downtown Miami, modern price-tags target wealthy foreigners rather than members of the middle-class workforce. In fact, the 2019 State of the Nation’s Housing report by Harvard University states that low-rent housing availability (under $800 monthly) has fallen by 39% with a 2% drop in the number of low-income renters. The Harvard report goes on the say that 20% of new-single family houses constructed from 2007-2017 were valued at $200,000. According to this and other housing statistics publicly available, Miami renters allocate over 30% of their income to cover rent, which can average around $2,000 a month in modest neighborhoods such as North Miami. An executive director at Miami Homes For All stated in an interview that the crisis has spread and has affected the Miami-Dade middle and upper class and not just low-income families. With more than a third of monthly wages going towards rent, there is a shortage of available housing to those earning under $40,000 a year, which is just $10,000 less than the 80% of Miami-Dade county workers earn per year. In the meantime, though unemployment in the low-wage work sector has risen, the cost of real-estate and residential construction projects continue to rise. So where exactly should middle and lower income workers look to live within Miami-Dade county? And where should those looking to purchase a well-priced piece of real-estate shop? According to recent real estate reports for Miami-Dade county, cities such as Allapattah, Little Havana and Coconut Grove are expected to receive $7.5 million in funding to build affordable housing for the local Miami workforce earning between $30K-60K per year. According to statistics, the city facing the toughest affordable housing ordeals is Miami, which has the highest percentage of residents earning much less than the $50,000 yearly average salary. Housing reports state that there are some 85 housing units that fall under the Miami Beach scope, which include studio apartments priced at $740 per month in rental fees. According to the a U.S. Census report, over 1 million residents, with an average income of some $60K, live in a separate sector of Miami-Dade. Unfortunately for middle and lower class households in Miami, rental fees for apartments and houses are expected to increase and not go down anytime soon.