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Housing Crisis: County Mayors Hold Roundtable On Skyrocketing Rents

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Due to skyrocketing rents, there is no argument that rental assistance is needed - like yesterday.

Many people have been forced out of their homes after landlords raised rents beyond what they could afford. They then had difficulty finding a new place to live. Keisha Guyton of Miami was one of them.

"I couldn't see anything under $2,500", said Guyton. "Three thousand dollars, sometimes. I even called someone who said $4,300 and these aren't any luxury places, you know."

On Wednesday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava convened a roundtable of mayors from across the county to discuss the rental crisis and what can be done.

The mayor and county are no strangers to taking proactive steps.

At the beginning of May, Levine Cava signed a "Tenants Bill of Rights."  It creates an Office of Housing Advocacy which offers protection to renters from massive rent hikes and evictions.  It also provides landlords who can't afford renovations and repairs with assistance.

The county has imposed a mandatory 60-day notice before a landlord can raise rents. They're in the process of creating an additional 14,000 affordable housing units and they've also poured money into a community land trust which will forever regulate rent prices on that land.

Other mayors at the discussion brought ideas with them as well.

"We have our own ideas in Florida City. We've targeted areas where we think we can buy some land, and the affordability issue, we can get houses down to affordable limits. It's going to happen," said city Mayor Otis Wallace.

"We can combine city funds from our Miami Forever Bond with county property to leverage that and get mid-rise projects that are going to affect the density by thousands of units. It's an opportunity for collaboration. I think when you leverage resources from different governments, you're able to do more things," said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

South Florida is one of the most pricey rental markets in the entire country.  Research by Zillow found rent prices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale make the top 10 for most expensive.

Median monthly rents according to Zillow Rental Index: April 2022.

  1. San Jose $3,199
  2. San Francisco $3,157
  3. New York $3,004
  4. San Diego $2,946
  5. Los Angeles $2,864
  6. Miami-Fort Lauderdale $2,846
  7. Boston $2,762

A housing summit is scheduled for the end of June to identify other housing solutions.

The housing crisis is leaving many desperate for help. That's why CBS News Miami wants to share your stories to show the crisis you're in or how you navigated the system. We will highlight these issues and work to get answers and solutions. Send us an email at housing@cbs.com.

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