South Florida

Housing Secretary Pledges More Resources to Fight South Florida Housing Crisis

Average rents in South Florida range from $2,400 per month to $2,800 per month according to Zillow and

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The United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia Fudge, called Miami is at the “epicenter” of the housing crisis in America. Many renters and homebuyers in South Florida know that’s true.

Secretary Fudge spoke in Miami over the past two days, telling community leaders the federal government has neglected affordable housing programs for decades and the Biden administration is trying to catch up.

“We know that we have as a nation not put the kind of resources into housing for many, many years. We have neglected neighborhoods. We have neglected to keep up with supply and that’s why we’re here today,” Fudge said at a press conference Tuesday.

NBC 6 reported before on the Housing Choice Voucher program, the largest affordable housing program in the country using tax dollars to help people pay rent.

According to the US Census, there are more than 670,000 people in Miami-Dade and Broward County living in poverty. Through public records requests, NBC 6 Investigators found 36,310 people receive Housing Choice Vouchers allotted from 11 housing authorities. That covers just more than five percent of the people living in poverty, covering only the neediest from being homeless.

Fudge, in her budget request to Congress, has asked for enough money to pay for 200,000 more vouchers nationwide next year, which would mean a few thousand for South Florida. She sees this as the first of several “incremental” steps where more aid will come year after year. 

“We are looking at communities who have not used their vouchers and we are trying to recapture some,” said Fudge, “Because we know we just can’t keep up. So, we’re looking at helping communities that are in the worst shape with vouchers. So, you’ll see some on the way.”

Over this year, NBC 6 Investigators have heard from many people with vouchers, claiming the current amounts offered are not realistic in a booming housing market.

HUD calculates the amount of a voucher based on a “Fair Market Rate” formula, which currently stands around $1,300 per month for a one bedroom and around $1,600 for a two bedroom. Local governments can add money on top of that but only a few hundred dollars at most.

Average rents in South Florida range from $2,400 per month to $2,800 per month according to Zillow and

Fudge tells NBC 6 Investigators that is a common problem and HUD will change the funding formula in October.

“We are looking at how we can readjust because we hear that everywhere we go,” said Fudge.

Funding levels for most of the housing programs come from Congress, Fudge said the Biden administration is advocating for tens of billions of dollars more in this next budget.

The housing crisis in South Florida is spurred on by a booming real estate market. A new study from RentCafe shows in June 2022 across the nation there are 14 people competing for every available open apartment. In Miami-Dade County, there are 31 people, more than twice the national average.

County leaders are holding a housing summit in Miami Thursday morning.

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