How Miami’s Housing Crisis is Impacting the Community

The Miami housing crisis is a complex issue that has been brewing for several years, and it has only become more jarring to residents since the pandemic. The city of Miami, known for its vibrant culture, enriched history, and beloved beaches, is facing a severe shortage of affordable housing options for its residents. This crisis has been exacerbated by various factors, including gentrification (along with climate-induced gentrification) and a lack of affordable housing legislation within the last decade.

As wealthier individuals and investors from other areas of the US and other countries like China move into and build in previously affordable neighborhoods, the gentrification issue becomes more of a rampant endemic in the area. According to Doxo, the cost of living in Miami is 30.3% above the national average. The median selling price for a Miami single-family home in February 2024 was $583k, up 7.0% from February 2023. These rates are making it increasingly difficult for lower-income residents to afford to live in these areas. As a result, many long-term residents from historically Black and Brown neighborhoods are being pushed out of their homes and communities. To boot, there is some irony at play here. Miami is also facing a high property vacancy rate. There are houses available to put unhoused individuals in, but the price of the home (coupled with the cost of living) is a dealbreaker for many.

Another issue aggravating the Miami housing crisis is the lack of sufficient government intervention. Despite the growing demand for affordable housing, government officials have been slow to implement policies that address the issue. This lack of proactive action has left many residents struggling to find adequate and affordable housing options, further worsening the crisis. 

While Governor DeSantis and the Florida legislature has since signed the Live Local Act for Florida into law, it opens the door to a host of other questions. Will this act prove to be successful and change the forecast for housing affordability in Miami and beyond? How will this help the families who have already been displaced and impacted? Will it incite policymakers to scrutinize other pieces of legislation that discreetly and indiscreetly protect corporations over communities? Was it too little, too late?

Answers to these questions are possible. Solutions are achievable–with more equity-minded people working within and influencing the systems that form policies and laws. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can be one of those people, connect with Annie Warshaw if you want to explore elected leadership, or Ali Khaleel if you want to exercise your organizing muscle and impact your community alongside organizations such as Miami PACT.

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