South Florida becoming the nation’s worst place to rent
South Florida Sun Sentinel, 16 September, 2021, Amber Randall
South Florida could become the worst place in the country for renters by the end of the year, partly because wages don’t keep up with exorbitant rent increases. a new forecast shows.
Renters here are likely to devote 40% of their income to rent by the end of the year, according to a forecast by Zillow, an online real estate marketplace that studies real estate trends.
That would be a full percentage point above June and well over the 30% that financial advisers prescribe.
United Way of Broward County to Launch New Affordable Housing Initiative
Lifestyle Media Group, September 13, 2021, Staff
Aiming to reduce the housing gap in Broward County, the United Way of Broward County tapped two business leaders to develop the programming and stainability strategy for its new Affordable Housing Initiative. Marcia Barry-Smith, President of MBS Consulting Services, will oversee the plan, while Heidi Alzate Kaufman, president of Heidi Alzate Consulting, will lead the fundraising campaign.
The initiative was created after the nonprofit organization identified affordable housing as the South Florida community’s biggest challenge. Its 2020 ALICE report indicated that 257,000 Broward County households (66 percent are people of color) are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE), with these working families one crisis away from not being able to make rent payments.
News Service of Florida, September 8, 2021, Jim Saunders
Realtors are halting an effort to pass a constitutional amendment to ensure funding for affordable housing, saying they will work with legislative leaders to create a program to help people such as nurses, police officers and firefighters buy homes.
The decision, announced Tuesday night, came after the group Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors contributed at least $13 million to a political committee spearheading the effort to put the proposed constitutional amendment on the 2022 ballot.
The committee, Floridians for Housing, had spent about $2.75 million as of July 31 as it worked to collect the 891,589 petition signatures needed to get on the ballot. The state Division of Elections had received 64,937 signatures for the initiative as of Tuesday.
'This Just Isn't Sustainable': The Housing Affordability Crisis Is Accelerating
BisNow Atlanta, August 16, 2021, Jarred Schenke
Decades in the making, the U.S. is facing a worsening housing shortage that is pushing housing prices and rents higher, and signs are pointing to it getting worse before it gets better.
Experts estimate the country needs to add 2 million housing units per year to accommodate a population that grew by 7.4% over the past decade, according to the recently released 2020 U.S. census data. But last year, the country produced just 1.3 million units of housing, and construction prices, labor shortages and restrictive zoning and building codes are making it unlikely the gap is going to shrink anytime soon.
Five Major Findings in the 2021 State of the Nation's Housing Report
JCHS, July 22, 2021, Daniel McCue
JCHS released its State of the Nation's Housing Report, in which they detail that "the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness grew in 2020 for the fifth year in a row, and is now up by 50,000 people since 2015."
Homebuyers should rent and wait out the housing boom, experts say; high prices set a record in June
South Florida Sun Sentinel, July 22, 2021, David Lyons
Researchers are urging Florida homebuyers to consider renting while they wait for the state’s overheated market to cool as soaring prices in South Florida hit records in June.
Statewide, they say, homes are overvalued by 21.76%. creating a risk that buyers could get stuck with overpriced homes for significant periods of time until prices eventually ease.
The report found home prices in the Tampa area were the most inflated in the state, selling in June for a 32% premium, up from 28.53% in May. In South Florida, prices were 16.89% above their historical norms, with the Orlando area at 21.19%.
Even though monthly rents for apartments, condos and single-family homes are rising as well, they are not increasing at the pace of the home-buying market, said Eli Beracha of Florida International University’s Hollo School of Real Estate in Miami. He said people searching for a home are better off renting and investing the money they would have spent on home ownership elsewhere.
HUD Makes Over $19 Million Available to Fight Housing Discrimination
HUD, July 21, 2021, Press Release
HUD announced that it is making $19.4 million available to help HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) agencies conduct activities that will address discriminatory housing practices related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These ARP funds may be used by fair housing organizations to equitably expand housing enforcement services for underserved populations who need their services the most. Underserved populations include individuals making fair housing complaints who come from low-income backgrounds and persons with disabilities, as well as people of color, including African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Applicants for the funding may also propose new fair housing projects relating to discriminatory practices arising in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
CNN Business, July 15, 2021, Anna Bahney
Housing has become so expensive in the United States that the typical minimum wage worker cannot afford rent, according to a new report.
There is no state, county or city in the country where a full-time, minimum-wage worker working 40 hours a week can afford a two-bedroom rental, a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition showed.
A full-time minimum-wage worker can afford a one-bedroom rental in only 7% of all US counties — 218 counties out of more than 3,000 nationwide.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25.
Thousands in South Florida could face foreclosure with federal protection coming to an end
South Florida Sun Sentinel, July 11, 2021, Rafael Olmeda
Time is running out for thousands of South Florida families who are facing foreclosure on their homes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For some, the nightmare started more than a year ago but was stalled by willingness of government officials to prevent banks from forcing people out during an unprecedented public health crisis. The Trump administration and most states stopped foreclosure and eviction proceedings on federally backed loans back in April 2020, setting expiration dates for their protection that have repeatedly been extended as the COVID crisis continued.
For others, the pandemic kept the foreclosure process from legally beginning — the moratorium on foreclosures kept banks from initiating the lawsuits in the first place, giving homeowners time to catch up or work things out with their lenders.
Now the moratorium, which applies to federally backed, single family homes, is set to expire at the end of this month. It was scheduled to expire June 30 before the Biden administration stepped in and extended it one last time.
Saving up for a home in South Florida?
South Florida Sun Sentinel, July 11, 2021, Amber Randall
Soaring home prices mean the average renter in South Florida now needs 17 years to save up for a down payment to buy a house — far longer than many places in the country, a new analysis shows.
The average nationwide is a little over 13 years, according to Zillow, an online real estate marketplace.
Supreme Court Leaves National Eviction Ban in Place
Route-Fifty, June 30, 2021, Andrea Noble
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a ruling allowing a national eviction moratorium to remain in place, rejecting a plea by landlords to strike the ban before it expires next month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week extended the moratorium through July 31, indicating it would be the final such extension.
A lower court judge had struck down the ban, finding the CDC had overstepped its legal authority in issuing the nationwide moratorium. The decision was stayed, however, and the ban remained active while the case was petitioned to the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh wrote in a brief decision issued Tuesday that he agreed with the lower court ruling, but that the temporary nature of the moratorium swayed his vote.
“Because the CDC plans to end the moratorium in only a few weeks, on July 31, and because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds, I vote at this time to deny the application to vacate the District Court’s stay of its order,” he wrote.
Were the CDC to attempt to extend the moratorium again, Kavanaugh wrote that congressional authorization would be necessary.
Soaring real estate market is killing dreams of buying a home — and even squeezing renters
South Florida Sun Sentinel, June 26, 2021, Amber Randall
The dream of buying a home is fading for more people in South Florida as the hot real estate market sends prices soaring out of reach.
Just 18% of households in Palm Beach County can afford the median price of a home, according to an assessment by the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center at Florida International University. The numbers are even bleaker to the south, where about 15% of Broward County households and 9% of Miami-Dade County can afford the median home price.
The situation is not much better for renters, who are struggling to write larger monthly checks, take on roommates or search for a cheaper place to live.
A New Home
Keenila Spiller, left, greets Anna Jaime, of Continental Development Holding, and Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich at a ribbon-cutting for Spiller’s new affordable rental home in Fort Lauderdale. Continental Development Holding, a newly launched Miami-based developer, plans to build more affordable housing units throughout the tri-county area, including single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily homes and duplexes in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Hallandale in 2020.
Beatrice Bray and Spiller stand in Spiller’s new affordable rental home in Fort Lauderdale.
Photos courtesy of Susan Stocker/Sun Sentinel photos