MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – 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.
Those additional funds are being made available beginning Friday.
“My administration is working tirelessly to find solutions to make housing affordable for all residents, including alternative funding options for developers, incentivizing more sustainable construction, and making it easier to build in our county,” the mayor said. “We will continue working until we are confident that all of our residents have access to affordable, quality, and secure housing.”
Levine Cava also announced the implementation of the Building Blocks program, which she said will be a phased approach to finding solutions to the housing crisis.
“Through the Building Blocks program, Miami-Dade County will invest in two simultaneous tracks – both increasing the supply of housing units and a comprehensive sweep of renter protections,” she said.
The mayor also announced an upcoming convening of mayors to collaborate on affordability solutions county-wide.
The mayors from across the county’s 34 municipalities will work to identify potential solutions and make a countywide commitment to providing equitable and affordable housing for residents.
In Broward County, Commissioner Steve Geller says about 14 thousand are moving in annually, that’s about seven thousand new housing units needed every year.
“If we build less than that, then the law of supply and demand will drive up housing price,” Geller said.
Through an ordinance Geller proposed and that the county passed, Broward cities could add residential units onto existing commercial properties.
With more people working from home he says maybe some commercially zoned areas could be good for residential housing.
“You don’t want high density in the middle of a residential neighborhood, you want it on the transit corridors and that’s what my ordinance does,” Geller said.
Here’s where Miami-Dade residents can go to receive the help they need.
Residents can also learn more about ERAP eligibility requirements by emailing ERAP@miamidade.gov or by calling 305-723-1815.