As Miami solidifies its spot as the second most expensive housing market in the U.S, the working and lower class found themselves unable to afford housing.
In the last two years of the pandemic, Miami has been one of the hottest spots for wealthy buyers around the country because of the warm weather and liveliness. Residential housing prices has skyrocketed due to the strong demand for apartments, condos and single-family homes.
Donna Marie Barrett is a licensed real estate broker with over 20 years’ of experience who was taken aback by the strong demand that is pushing the working class Miami residents out.
“Many people are coming down to leave big cities like New York and California because of the pandemic,” said Barrett. “Vacation homes are also increasing which contributes to the demand.”
According to the realtyhop, the average household in Miami is expected to pay $2,653 per month for homeownership.
“People who are not making enough will have to team up with someone to get into the housing market,” said Barrett. “They’ll have to leave their neighborhood and go to places like Orlando where prices are better.”
Graduate students like Tiana Smith, who is beginning her career in special ed therapy, are struggling to save enough to own a home.
“Housing in South Florida is so expensive,” said Smith. “ I kept being rejected due to my income because you have to have three times the rent, the security deposit, pet and utility fee and the monthly renter insurance.”
While the pandemic hit some people hard, others did not experience the same adversity.
“It was easier for me to save because I could not go anywhere during the shutdown,” said Smith. “But it will be a miracle for someone my age to buy a house right now. Everything in Florida is crazy priced.”
With the federal eviction moratorium gone because of the recent Supreme Court decision, hundreds of thousands of Miami residents are facing eviction. The moratorium was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect specific areas that was impacted the most by COVID-19 cases.
Paris Baptist was one of millions protected by the moratorium. He was laid off his job and had to find unusual jobs around Little Haiti to try to pay the bills.
“I could not afford my rent anymore,” said Baptist. “I was very behind, and the rent pause gave me an opportunity to play catch up.”
For the last two months, Baptist has to rely on friends and family to stay above waters.
“With my unemployment checks winding down and my landlord continuing to raise rent prices, it’s looking like I have to move out of Miami soon,” said Baptist. “It’s unfortunate and adds to the growing gentrification problem in Little Haiti.”