A new report says Miami is the seventh least-affordable large metro area in the world.
The recent report by urban researchers Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo says the Miami region's housing unaffordability crisis reinforces its high levels of inequality.
"Miami has a very high end economy, attracting people from around the world. And an incredible influx of north easterners are streaming in here with high incomes," Florida said. "On the other hand, we have another economy, which is entirely filled with people who may not be working or working in very low skilled insecure jobs. And they’re sinking."
The report says only Hong Kong, Sydney, Los Angeles, London, Toronto and New York are more expensive than the Miami area.
According to the study, "low-income service workers" make up more than half of the region’s workforce. So while Miami has seen a surplus of units being built - and the values of those units are rapidly appreciating - the city’s workforce has not grown with it. Wages and incomes are not keeping pace.
"We have one of the most service dependent, low skilled, economies in the United States," Florida said.
It also says that 6 in 10 employed adults in Miami are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. That is the highest rate of any large metro area in the United States.
A resident is considered "housing cost-burdened" at that threshold or higher.
The report says housing affordability needs to be front and center in any discussion of economic development in Miami.
"I don't even have to mince words, we have built housing for rich people," Florida said. "That's our crisis. Too much housing for rich people and not enough affordable housing for not so rich people."