Priced out of paradise: Why locals can no longer afford to live in Miami

"...Miami-Dade County has gone from a city where a middle income provided a comfortable life for hundreds of thousands of people to a metropolis beset by a housing crisis of alarming breadth and a level of economic inequality that matches that of Colombia. It’s the consequence of stagnant real wages, housing prices hypercharged by rising demand and big foreign money, and a short supply of places to live that locals can actually afford...

...'Miami, more than any city I know, is not being built for the locals,' said renowned Miami planner and urbanist Andrés Duany. 'The locals have been displaced on a continual basis. Miami has displaced an awful lot of people in a short time. And displaced them out...'

....One answer, of course, is simply to build more housing that those who live here can afford.

Miami-Dade County and private developers of affordable housing — that is, housing that meets a federal definition for people of low income — have built thousands of units across the urban core with scant public attention, using substantial state and federal subsidies to do so.

But the supply is hardly enough to meet the need, and experts say there is no way to ramp up production sufficiently to close the gap. Annie Lord, executive director of advocacy group Miami Homes For All estimates the need for housing meeting federal affordability criteria at 130,000 units across the county.

Another complementary approach, some preservationists and developers say, is to rehab the county’s vast stock of older housing, which provides the most affordable rents and costs but is often rundown, instead of tearing it down and building from scratch. That housing frequently is located in central urban locations close to work, keeping a lid on transportation costs that only add to the cost burdens borne by low-income residents. It would also keep communities whole..."

Miami Homes For All