Secretary of Housing and Urban Development tours South Florida amid ongoing housing crisis

Wednesday was day two in South Florida for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

MIAMI – Wednesday was day two in South Florida for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Secretary Marcia Fudge was given an inside look at the housing crisis happening in the region.

“We clearly know that housing is a crisis in this country,” she said, while recognizing that Miami is the epicenter of the crisis.

There just is not enough moderate and low income housing, she says, as well as a lack of supply and a lot of demand.

The Biden administration is asking Congress for $35 billion just to build housing.

“We’re looking at how we can close the financial for developers so they’re encouraged to build moderate and low income houses because they don’t do it because they don’t make money doing it,” said Fudge.

Locally, rental rates are soaring to where some are paying 50 percent more on rents.

Fudge says hundreds of millions of dollars are already in Florida.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the county has $70 million to build more housing, and more is coming.

“Basically we have to increase the supply and we have to preserve the supply that we have,” said Cava.

So far, the county has announced 14,000 new units coming online, and it continues to run an emergency rental assistance program, which the mayor says has kept more than 20,000 people from being evicted.

It all comes full circle, it’s all related. The housing crisis and homelessness are intertwined.

“The reason you’re not seeing more people on the streets is we’re catching them and holding them in place,” said Homeless Trust Chair Ron Book.

The secretary wrapped up here visit Wednesday by touring homeless facilities in Miami.

“In the greatest nation in the world, almost 500,000 people sleep in our streets every single day. It is a travesty,” she said.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.