How can we solve Miami’s affordable housing issues? A few experts have some ideas

On Feb. 7 a bunch of you joined us, and some experts on affordable housing and development, for an awesome conversation at Bousa Brewing. We streamed it on our Facebook page but in case you missed that, or just need a quick refresher, here’s some of the main takeaways from our discussion:

  • Support elected officials and organizations that are advocating for more affordable housing, and working on solutions to this issue. As panelist Evian White de Leon, from Miami Homes for All, put it: “It’s not rocket science, it’s just good old fashioned civic engagement.”
  • Why aren’t developers building more affordable housing? It’s about money, but not in the way you might think. As Mitch Friedman from Pinnacle Housing Group explained it, there are numerous factors keeping developers from building more of these projects. It’s partially because of increased building costs across the industry but a major factor, Mitch said, has been the misuse of the state’s Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund: “You had a trust fund that was raising hundreds of millions of dollars, that was going toward affordable housing, was now being cut in half…that number has been going down and down.”
  • Learn about alternative solutions like community land trusts. Rosalie Whiley of SMASH has been advocating to create more of these trusts and they hope to have one developed by December in Liberty City. She thinks the new housing development could be a game changer: “If I fight to make this be done, I can help build it, I can help keep it clean and I’m not going to let nobody come and destroy something I built in my community for me and my family.”
  • Do a little homework. Check out resources like the University of Miami’s Miami Affordability Project which takes a deep dive into Miami’s affordable housing stock through a series of detailed maps and data.

Still curious about this topic? Check out our series of stories on the issue on our website. And feel free to hit us up with any thoughts you have about affordable housing at [email protected]