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Miami Working On Solution As Many Scramble To Find Affordable Rentals

MIAMI (CBS4) - Rising rent costs continue to be a concern for South Floridians.

"The prices are double, literally doubled, you can't even find a one bedroom for under $1500. Rents have almost doubled," said Sunday Phillips.

Phillips is among the thousands of South Floridians looking for a place to rent but she said since the pandemic prices have skyrocketed leaving her and many others scrambling to find a place to live. 

"From Fort Lauderdale to Miami, it is really horrific, families are being priced out, we're seeing whole families are being homeless," said Phillips who is also a realtor.

Based on Zillow's most recent market report, the average monthly rent in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale metro area is about $2,500, up 29 % since last year, giving the area the fastest rising rent appreciation in the country.

"Folks are still making minimum wages so how can they afford to pay this type of rent," said Phillips.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said they are working on a solution.

"One option is to try to find another apartment that is equivalent but less expensive that's in the cost side but on the income side the other option is for your job to pay for or find a job that pays better and we're creating those high paying jobs," said Suarez, who has been actively recruiting tech companies who have brought thousands of high paying jobs to the area.

But the majority of those jobs have gone to out of towners who are moving to South Florida and creating an additional strain on the rental market by decreasing supply while driving up prices.

"There is a supply and demand glut but the other part about it is you have massive inflation," said Suarez, who adds rising rent is a nationwide problem and not just a Miami metro issue.

The city of Miami has multiple housing developments in the works and within the next couple of years will add at least 14 new high rises to help with the housing demand.

"We borrowed $100 million through Miami Forever that we have leveraged to the tune of, in some cases, 20 to 1 or 25 to 1 in certain projects. So that means we get $20 for every dollar the city invests in affordable housing to create thousands if not tens of thousands of units of affordable housing. We have to continue to create them. Once supply hopefully catches up over the next few months the prices will go down because there's more competition, so they'll be more availability at the price point," said Suarez

As for folks like Phillips, she said that solution won't help with her next rental.

"If you're in Miami and you're in big tech you can afford it. I have teachers who are literally making $50,000 and on the edge, so it's not so easy to say get another job," added Phillips.

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