MIAMI – On day two of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge's visit to South Florida to get a firsthand look at what has been deemed the epicenter of the housing crisis in the United States, she said it was good to get fresh eyes on the problem.
"When I go back to Washington, we can look at thing a little differently," she said.
CBS4's Hank Tester asked the secretary, "What are you going to do when you get back to Washington? What are you going to do for the people of Miami-Dade who cannot afford a home or rent?"
Her answer: "This state has hundreds of millions of dollars, hundreds of millions, this city's hundreds of millions of dollars. It is a matter of your determining what your priorities are. There is only so much money the federal government has, and we have given through the rescue package, the emergency rental assistance, incentives to landlords, we have done everything we can to at this time."
So, it is back to local. The previous day, Fudge discussed modifying local zoning regulations which mandate single-family homes. Miami-Dade Daniella Levine Mayor Cava suggested splitting lots and allowing buildings to be constructed closer together as well as suggestions for more developer incentives.
Tester asked what to do about folks fresh out of college, have jobs, seem to have it all going on except in Miami-Dade they can't afford to rent or buy?
The secretary told him, "The FHA has put in place things we know will help young people. Most young people are deemed not trustworthy because of student debt. We have through HUD mortgages that disallow student debt. The president asked for $100 million just for down payments. We are looking at ways to reappraise certain neighborhoods. We have incentives in neighborhoods, we are doing our part."
Until money flows, developers build, zoning laws are changed, Miami-Dade citizens will continue to struggle with sky-high rents and homes they can't afford.
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 email@example.com.
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