Watch CBS News

Evictions on the rise across South Florida

Evictions on the rise across South Florida
Evictions on the rise across South Florida 03:01

MIAMI - With their animals in tow,  Dani and Jonathan Rivera are living in a one-bedroom motel room in Hialeah.

They were evicted from their apartment they say because of a rental disagreement and problems with their building. 

"It's horrific when you did everything right," said Dani Rivera. 

Life for the family started to fall apart a year ago when Jonathan, a cook, couldn't work because of a chronic condition that makes it difficult to stand.

He's had surgeries and needs more. 

"My goal is to return to work -  it's all I know how to do," he says. 

The Rivera's aren't alone. 

The Eviction Lab at Princeton, which tracks housing trends, says evictions are up in South Florida.

Over a 12-month period, they say there were over 23,000 evictions in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

"Evictions are up. Rents have doubled. People can't afford it," says Bertisha Combs the regional director for Florida Rising, a people-powered advocacy group fighting for economic and racial equality. 

We asked her what to do when you get an eviction notice.

"The paperwork is confusing. You have 5 days to respond. Pay into the rental registry at the courthouse." 

Above all, she says, "Don't ignore an eviction notice and get help from someone who can explain the proceeding."

Combs says abruptly leaving your home after an eviction notice is to be avoided because the filing could have negative consequences for future housing. 

Florida Rising asked Broward County for millions of dollars last fall to help families fight evictions. But the county said they were too late applying for funding. 

Combs says they work with other groups and have helped families facing eviction. They anticipate 18,000 evictions in Broward in 2024.

They are also lobbying Broward County to provide free legal aid for people fighting eviction as Miami-Dade does.

The Riveras aren't sure where they'll go next. Their 11-year-old son is staying elsewhere. 

"I tell people it can only get better - it can't get worse," said Jonathan Rivera 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.