South Florida Ranks Fifth For Unaffordable Housing

Mar 31, 2015

A new report from Realtor.com, an online real estate service provider, ranks South Florida fifth for unaffordable housing in the nation. It’s just below New York, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, which tops the list. 

New affordable apartment towers for seniors were built by the Richman Group in West Brickell.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Stephen Owens is president of Swire Properties, a development company. At a real estate conference in Miami last week, he was looking out of the Beacon Council's 24th-floor window.

"We're looking due west on Southwest Eighth Street," he said. "This is the western boundaries of what's called West Brickell."

He pointed out the new developments in the area. 

"One-story buildings, or service stations, that sort of thing, has been pulled down and you have affordable housing that's been built in [its] place," Owens said. 

But those three new apartment towers he's looking at are specifically for seniors.

"We really need to get some affordable housing projects that address the everyday individuals, not just seniors," says Craig Emmanuel, South Florida realtor and affordable housing advocate. 

He says South Florida needs “workforce housing” in Miami’s downtown, Midtown and Brickell areas.

A new study from Realtor.com ranks South Florida fifth for least affordable housing in the nation.
Credit Realtor.com

"[Those residents] need to be close to their job and close to their home so they can facilitate their family and be able to not have to take three and four-hour commutes," he says. 

Emmanuel says local advocacy groups like Habitat for Humanity and Neighborhood Housing Service of South Florida are helping to make South Florida housing affordable. But he says it’s really up to lawmakers to make significant changes.

"The municipalities that are here in South Florida should go ahead and work together to get community land trust in their particular cities," says Emmanuel.

He says there are affordable projects happening in Coconut Grove and Overtown right now, but he says, South Florida still needs more.