OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - The Biden administration’s top housing official wrapped up her two-day South Florida visit by getting a look at the growing rental property crisis firsthand.
Skyrocketing rental properties have many in South Florida living in a real-life nightmare. On her final day in South Florida, Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge visited an affordable housing complex in Opa-Locka, where she heard from residents on the issues they’re facing.
“I’m not happy. The rent keeps going up,” said a resident.
“It wasn’t that much, maybe $20, then I think it reached a point now where it might have jumped $70,” said Gus, a resident.
Residents said housing is feeling less and less affordable.
“It’s going beyond where it’s not affordable,” Gus said.
South Florida is arguably the epicenter of the housing crisis in the country.
“I know it’s tough, but I would suggest that $900 in this market is moderate,” said Fudge.
Home values are soaring, rents are doubling, and South Floridians are essentially being priced out.
“The kind of assistance to help you stay at a place like this, and it shouldn’t be like that,” said Gus. “They got to do something about that.”
“Everything is being pushed up just because of a lack of supply,” said Fudge.
It’s that lack of supply, specifically affordable housing, that the federal government is going after.
“Thirty-five billion dollars billion for lower moderate income housing,” said Fudge. “We’re looking at how we can close the financial gap for developers so that they are encouraged to build.”
While Miami-Dade County begins to build more with federal dollars begins, there is some help available for local renters.
“Our Emergency Rental Assistance program, one of the best in the nation, we’ve used hundreds of millions of funding. We’ve kept 20,000 plus people from being evicted,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
Leaders said these resources are keeping residents in their home and off the streets.
“We’re not seeing more people on the streets. We are catching them and holding them in place,” said Ron Book with the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust.
A housing crisis amid record-breaking inflation is forcing families to do what they can to stay afloat.
“It’s getting harder and harder to do that,” said Gus.
Levine Cava plans to announce more help on Thursday during her housing summit.
There are several federal dollars out there to help with rent and mortgage. Click here to access those resources.
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