Affordability

June 28, 2016 No Comments

Affordability


Posted by Carlos Araque in Affordability

HOUSING & AFFORDABILITY

The economic stability of Miamians is a major factor in how comfortably they can live here. Standard living costs, like rents or mortgages, usually consume the largest share of a resident’s income and determine their overall financial health.

Miami must continue to cultivate development of affordable housing to help ease its cost-burdened residents. That, coupled with our rapidly growing economy, higher salaries and greater income distribution, will go a long way toward making Miami a more affordable place to live.

We identified the three goals and metrics below as good targets for our success:

1. Miami-Dade Residents Possess Sufficient Financial Resources

2. Miami-Dade Housing Is Affordable

3. Miami-Dade Is An Economically Equitable Region

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Economic well-being is a critical component of quality of life.

WHAT ELSE IS AFFECTED?

Poverty is associated with a host of negative outcomes, including lower rates of educational attainment and poorer health.

GOAL: MIAMI-DADE HOUSING IS AFFORDABLE

WHAT ELSE IS AFFECTED?

Housing affordability is a major factor in where people choose to live and how well they live. When housing isn’t affordable, people can’t afford to buy a home or must choose housing far from their job.

WHAT ELSE IS AFFECTED?

Traffic congestion worsens when people have to move far from their place of employment. Young renters may choose to leave the region for other parts of the state or US.

% OF HOUSEHOLDS THAT ARE COST-BURDENED
(RENTERS SPENDING 30% OR MORE ON HOUSING)

When housing costs are high relative to incomes, households don’t have the disposable income needed for food, health care, and transportation.

Miami-Dade households are some of the most cost-burdened in the US due to the high cost of housing. 65% of county renters spend 30% or more of their income on housing, a much higher percentage than the typical American.

Miami-Dade’s affordability is driven by two realities: we are an expensive community and we aren’t generating the incomes to afford where we live.

The cost of living index measures the relative prices of goods and services in Miami versus the US average (100.0).

Our lack of affordability brings a much higher share of our population below the poverty level.

See Miami’s numbers and compare them to other major US metros using the tool to the right.

But, our unemployment remains stubbornly high, which can keep wages depressed and lower affordability for those struggling to keep a job.

It appears that during the recession, developers started to build more affordable housing.
But now that our economy is growing again, the cost of new construction is going up, which has a direct impact on our affordability.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ACHIEVE A GREATER MIAMI?

Many factors in a community can affect affordability; there are several solutions, including boosting incomes through economic growth and expanding the diversity of housing options across all income levels.

Housing affordability can be affected by developers, who may be focused more on serving foreign investors than local workers and families.  Our elected leadership could also impact this area by establishing public policies that incentivize the creation of more low and medium income housing and increase urban mobility options that reduce the cost of transportation.

We can look to some national examples of governments working with nonprofit and private industry partners to impact the availability of affordable housing.  For example, Denver has created a revolving loan program to build affordable housing units within 1/2 mile walk of transit stations.

Read this article by Michael Liu, director of Miami-Dade County Public Housing, for more information and a different perspective.

Source: US Census American Community Survey

The Miami Foundation


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