Biden’s housing chief calls Miami the ‘epicenter of the housing crisis in this country’
Miami Herald, June 29, 2022, Douglas Hanks
The nation’s top housing official visited Miami on Tuesday and called the city the “epicenter” of a housing crisis in the United States. “I decided I was going to Miami, to the epicenter of the housing crisis in this country,” Marcia Fudge, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said during a visit to Miami-Dade County’s Liberty Square complex. For her first Miami stop, Fudge visited a redeveloped version of one of the oldest public housing complexes in the country, and a reminder of Miami’s segregationist past. Liberty Square, built in the 1930s, was once marked by a concrete wall to mollify white neighbors alarmed at the construction of housing for Black residents in their neighborhood.
Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge visits South Florida amid affordable housing crisis
7News Miami, June 28, 2022, Alex Browning
When it comes to affordable housing in South Florida many throw out the word ”crisis,” but federal officials want people to know housing help is available.
“This is a 300 million public private partnership,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, “and when completed, 1,450 unit mixed used.”
Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge was in town and touring Miami-Dade’s Liberty Square Federal Housing Project, Tuesday, amid an affordable housing crisis across the country, and Miami has arguably become the epicenter.
“We have neglected to keep up with supply,” said Fudge, “and that is why we are at the point we are today.”
The Biden Administration’s visit came as the Sunshine State was named the least affordable in the country. Specifically in South Florida, home prices have sky rocketed. Surging rent has forced families out and the idea of home ownership has become even less of a possibility for so many.
Program targets housing shortage United Way initiative bringing affordable units to Broward
South Florida Sun Sentinel, June 28, 2022, Amber Randall
As the housing crisis worsens in South Florida, a new housing program is working to bring affordable units to residents.
United Way of Broward County, a social services non-profit, launched Housing United, a funding initiative geared towards helping finance affordable housing projects throughout Broward County.
The program’s goal is to bring 2,500 affordable units to the county over the next five years by teaming with various local organizations and banks, and using federal funds to raise money to help pay for these developments.
Study reveals 8% of households can afford a single-family home in Broward County
South Florida Sun Sentinel, June 22, 2022, Amber Randall
Based on spending the recommended 30% of income on housing, a home at the median sale price for Broward County, around $545,000, is far out of reach for almost all residents in South Florida, according to a preliminary assessment from researchers at Florida International University. Experts involved are concerned about the effects on the regions economy, particularly for workers in the hospitality and service sectors.
“It’s just become so excessive, really, it’s almost paralyzed the housing market for anyone who actually lives and works in Broward County,” said Dr. Edward Murray, associate director of the Metropolitan Center at Florida International University and author of the study. “Local residents have been completely removed from the market, certainly from a purchasing standpoint.”
Broward’s median sale price is almost nine times the median salary in South Florida, according to Murray. In a normal market, the ratio should be 3:1.
Broward County Commission awards $1 million loan to the Southeast Florida Community Development Fund, Inc., to expand affordable housing program for first-time homebuyers in Broward County.
Press Release, June 21, 2022, SFRPC
On June 7, 2022 the Broward County Commissioner approved an additional $1,000,000 line of credit to the Southeast Florida Community Development Fund, Inc. (SFCDFI), a 501(c)3 managed by the South Florida Regional Planning Council, to fund affordable housing for first-time homebuyers in Broward County. This is in addition to the existing $1,000,000 revolving line of credit which was approved by the Housing Finance Authority (HFA) of Broward County in late 2019.
Full Press Release...
Broward County home to severe housing affordability woes. Who's making big push to tackle the problem?
The Miami Herald, June 17, 2022, Michael Butler
Broward County ranks dead last in Florida with only 25 affordable homes for every 100 families.
The county's most cost-burdened residents — two-thirds of whom are people of color — are spending more than half their monthly incomes on housing expenses. The rule of thumb, according to personal finance experts, is to spend no more than 30% of monthly earnings on housing-related costs.
Only a meager 8% of Broward residents can reasonably expect to attain homeownership, according to a recent study of the county's housing needs by Ned Murray, Florida International University's associate director of the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center.
With that in mind, United Way of Broward County just launched Housing United, a five-year strategic program to bring together the public and private sectors to tackle the county's most pressing need: building homes struggling working residents can afford to rent or buy.
Tenants in L.A. Asked the City to Buy Their Building
Surprisingly, the City Agreed
Next City, June 9, 2022, Roshan Abraham
In a major win for residents of an affordable building in L.A.’s Chinatown, the city will bid on the 124-unit apartment complex to prevent a drastic rent increase.
On May 27, that organizing paid off. The Los Angeles City Council voted to take out a loan to purchase the Hillside Villa Apartments and keep them affordable. The vote was unanimous — 12 council members voted yes (three were absent). It represents a huge victory for the Hillside Villa Tenants Association, which has fought against the landlords’ stark rent increases for the past three years. It is also a bold approach from L.A. City Council that will test the city’s ability to intervene on behalf of tenants facing displacement by pulling housing from the private sector.
It could also present a potential way forward for the city’s many other affordable housing units slated to lose their affordable housing status. According to a November 2019 Mckinsey report, there were 10,000 units of affordable housing across Los Angeles with affordability covenants set to expire by 2023.
South Florida Sun Sentinel, June 6, 2022, Amber Randall
Booming home values have made the housing market challenging for buyers, but now rising interest rates are causing buyers to recalibrate which houses they can afford.
In South Florida, the average monthly mortgage payment for a new mortgage rose 61% compared to the year before as home prices rose and interest rates shot up, according to an analysis from Zillow.
The increase in South Florida is higher than how much mortgage payments increased on a national level. The average monthly payment for a home on a national level increased 50% when compared to a year ago.
President Biden Announces New Actions to Ease the Burden of Housing Costs
The White House, May 16, 2022, Statements and Releases
President Biden is releasing a Housing Supply Action Plan to ease the burden of housing costs over time, by boosting the supply of quality housing in every community. His plan includes legislative and administrative actions that will help close America’s housing supply shortfall in 5 years, starting with the creation and preservation of hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units in the next three years. When aligned with other policies to reduce housing costs and ensure affordability, such as rental assistance and downpayment assistance, closing the gap will mean more affordable rents and more attainable homeownership for Americans in every community. This is the most comprehensive all of government effort to close the housing supply shortfall in history.
Housing prices not leveling off
South Florida Sun Sentinel, April 28, 2022, Amber Randall
The housing market in South Florida is experiencing some mixed signals:Housing prices continued to climb last month, reaching levels not seen in almost 15 years; rising interest rates, which hit 5.37% last week, so far don’t seem to have cooled the market. But there’s also been a slight bump in sellers dropping their prices.
Home prices reach their highest level since start of pandemic boom.
Housing prices in South Florida reached their highest level since the housing market took off two years ago, despite rising interest rates.
It was similar in Miami-Dade County: The median sale price rose to $540,000, a 10% increase from the year before.
South Florida Sun Sentinel, April 27, 2022, Amber Randall
The South Florida region saw the highest rent increases in the country in the past year, with some rents more than doubling.
The median rent in the tri-county area jumped 57% from March 2021 to March 2022, according to the latest data from realtor.com. The region had the highest rent increases out of the 50 metro areas analysts studied, and makes South Florida’s median rent more expensive than even the New York metro area.
The current median rent in South Florida is $2,988, while a year ago, the overall median rent was $2,499. It has the fourth highest rent in the country, according to the study from realtor.com.
Route Fifty, April 22, 2022, Andre Claudio
Stable, affordable housing can benefit people with low incomes while also boosting local economies, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.
Alexandria, Virginia, a city of about 158,000 residents in the Washington, D.C. area, lost 78% of its market-rate affordable units between 2000 and 2020, according to the study. The group predicts that the city will need an additional 13,600 housing units to accommodate household growth from 2015 to 2030, mostly for middle- and low-income households.
Affordable housing can reduce homelessness, lift people out of poverty, improve health outcomes and youth educational outcomes, long-term earnings and reduce the possibility of adult incarceration, the report states.
Retiring to a hard life on the streets
Associated Press, April 11, 2022, Anita Snow
Karla Finocchio’s slide into homelessness began when she split with her partner of 18 years and temporarily moved in with a cousin.
She planned to use her $800-a-month disability check to get an apartment after back surgery. But she soon was sleeping in her old pickup protected by her German Shepherd mix Scrappy, unable to afford housing in Phoenix, where median monthly rents soared 33% during the coronavirus pandemic to over $1,220 for a one-bedroom, according to ApartmentList.com.
Finocchio, 55, is one face of America’s graying homeless population, a rapidly expanding group of destitute and desperate people 50 and older suddenly without a permanent home after a job loss, divorce, family death or health crisis during a pandemic.
“We’re seeing a huge boom in senior homelessness,” said Kendra Hendry, a caseworker at Arizona’s largest shelter, where older people make up about 30% of those staying there. “These are not necessarily people who have mental illness or substance abuse problems. They are people being pushed into the streets by rising rents.”
Miami-Dade mayor declares housing affordability crisis
AP News, April 9, 2022, Business
The mayor of Miami-Dade County has declared a crisis in South Florida when it comes to housing affordability.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on Friday said that Miami-Dade has become one of the most unaffordable places to live in the U.S. Rents in the county have jumped 30% in the past year.
That’s hurting working families and making it difficult for businesses to find and retain workers, she said.
Levine Cava also said mayors from the county’s 34 municipalities planned to meet up soon to discuss solutions to the housing affordability crisis.
Miami-Dade mayor announces solutions to housing affordability crisis
Local 10 News, April 8, 2022, Amanda Batchelor, Hatzel Vela
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava held a press conference Friday to address the housing affordability crisis in the area, and announce actions her administration is taking to deal with the crisis.
According to the mayor’s office, rents in Miami-Dade County have increased more than 30% in just the last year, which is also making it harder for local businesses to find and retain employees.
The mayor started her speech by highlighting how resilient the community has been amid the coronavirus pandemic, adding that Miami-Dade has the most recovered economy in the country and people from around the nation and the world are flocking to the area to live.
“We are truly where the American dream is happening,” Levine Cava said, adding that unfortunately Miami-Dade has also become one of the most unaffordable places to live.
The mayor said she has declared a county-wide affordability crisis and has directed her staff to accelerate measures to address the crisis, beginning with providing an additional $13 million to the county’s emergency rental assistance program.
Florida lawmakers raid $100M from affordable housing for program that doesn't exist
Orlando Sentinel, April 3, 2022, Jeffrey Schweers
In the midst of a statewide housing crisis, the Florida Legislature swept $100 million out of a nationally respected affordable housing rental assistance program for low-income families into a home-buying program that exists in name only.
Affordable housing advocates say the Legislature broke a promise made only a year ago that it would never again raid the Sadowski Affordable Housing Act fund, created in 1992 as a dedicated source of revenue to finance affordable housing programs.