MIAMI (WSVN) - The housing market has skyrocketed in South Florida, where landlords have increased their rent and for those in search of a place to call home have found it a struggle.
A new study released in March by Florida Atlantic University found that in the South Florida area, which includes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, local rents had increased by 30% compared to a year ago.
“Over the last year, we have also become one of the most unaffordable regions in the country,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “The housing crisis in South Florida has become out of reach for many. If we want to continue to grow and to attract high quality talent, we must address the housing challenges our residents are facing.”
On Friday, Levine Cava announced that there will be additional funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. $13 million will be added to the program to help struggling residents.
“The housing crisis in South Florida has become out of reach for many,” said Levine Cava.
“Miami rent is too damn high, Miami rent is too damn high!” said a protester back in March.
The increase of living in Miami has become something that locals have raised their voice about, which prompted the mayor to sign a bill requiring landlords to give their tenants a two-month notice if they plan to significantly increase the rent. Many locals have seen rent outpace their earnings.
“It’s hard times,” said Devonn Tillman. “We need help out here, man.”
Tillman is a father of four and said the rent for his one bedroom apartment skyrocketed from about $800 a month to nearly $1,400.
“Imagine that, you got to take care of your rent, your light bill, your water, your groceries and then you have to take care of your kids,” said Tillman.
In Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, many said they are getting priced out of their homes.
“I’m paying $900, and she wants me out because the newcomers are paying $1,500,” said Laura Miolan.
Similar stories were shared to 7News throughout the day, with some even in cars expressing their frustrations.
“Rent should not be like this,” said a man in a black hoodie.
Some said in just a matter of months they won’t be able to afford to resign their leases, leaving them stumped on their next steps.
“I don’t know, I need another place. I don’t know,” said a man in a red shirt.
Some want to see even more drastic steps taken.
“Rent control, because if they don’t control the rent, it will keep going up,” said Miolan.
Those seeking to buy homes as an alternative have found it equally as difficult. According to the online real estate company Zillow, South Florida is among the top large metro area with deficits in the amount of homes available with a gap of 61%.
Jose “Pepe” Diaz, chairman of Miami-Dade’s County Commission, also spoke on the housing affordability issue.
“Projects that have been there waiting two, three years, that is not acceptable anymore,” said Diaz. “The help that the mayor has gotten and already shows the record that we’re leading nation in help. It’s only going to last for so long, so we have to do all our parts together to make sure that this is a reality and that this storm goes away.”
Many are hoping “this storm,” goes away before they are forced too.
“Where are we going? Up the street under the bridge with the rest of us?” said a woman in a gold bonnet.
Additionally, Levine Cava said she plans to meet with the mayors of Miami-Dade’s 34 municipalities to try and identify solutions countywide.
To apply for Miami-Dade’s Rental Assistance Program, click here.
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