The Office of Civic and Community Engagement has partnered with Miami-Dade County housing officials to create an innovative tool that will identify affordable housing and workforce housing.
Over the past two years, Miami has experienced a real estate boom like no other.
Along with rising house prices, monthly rental rates in Miami-Dade County have skyrocketed nearly 60%, compared to just 19% nationally, leaving those living on the fringes with less choice. Earlier this week, US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge declared Miami the “epicenter of the housing crisis.”
With rent and house prices outpacing neighboring states and Miami’s median wages and pay rates unable to keep up, leaders are scrambling to address the county’s housing affordability crisis.
“Residents of Miami’s most vulnerable communities are seeing their rents go up with no end in sight. And it could displace local residents, leaving them no choice but to leave Miami,” said Robin Bachin, founding director of the University of Miami Office of Civic and Community Engagement (CCE), dean senior associate for undergraduate education. , and Associate Professor of History Charlton W. Tebeau.
Still, county officials want residents to know there are options. To paint a picture of where affordable housing is, Miami-Dade County housing officials enlisted the expertise of CCE to help create a new housing affordability tracker.
Unveiled this week at Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s Building Blocks Housing Summit, the online tool will show the locations and progress of more than 18,000 affordable housing units under development, under construction or slated for completion. by the end of 2023. This way community and housing industry leaders can identify exactly where new affordable and workforce housing is located, affordable housing for families with the median income of the area and nearby jobs, in Florida’s most populous county, and when projects will be ready for residents. .
“Everyone talks about how we need more affordable housing in Miami, but how do you quantify it? And how can you tell people the numbers? That’s what this tool is for,” said Ignacio Ortiz-Petit, senior executive assistant to Michael Liu, director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Public Housing and Community Development. “This tool will help show people that we are not just talking about housing, we are actually building units that will help alleviate this challenge we face.
The tracker will be available to the public on the county’s website, and according to Bachin, it will likely be used by people who work in the affordable housing and community development industry, as well as city planners, policymakers and community organizations. base who want to advise residents facing precarious housing.
“The University of Miami is helping us quantify the data that leaders, policymakers, and residents will use across the county,” Ortiz-Petit added.
To create the tool, Ortiz-Petit worked closely with CCE Senior Policy and Program Manager Jen Posner to give her all the information they had about affordable housing projects in Miami-Dade County. . Next, Posner’s small team did their own research and contacted municipalities and developers across the county about current affordable housing projects, while scrutinizing local news and real estate listings.
“We were as thorough as possible to ensure we found accurate and useful information to provide insight into the affordable housing pipeline we have on the horizon in Miami-Dade,” Posner said.
The tool allowed CCE to create an interactive color-coded map of the county with dots identifying each affordable housing location. When users click on each site, it gives the name of the developer, the address of the property, the number of units available and the stage of the process, whether planning, permitting or construction . With future grants, Posner hopes his team can continue to update the tracker quarterly.
This is the second time that the University has worked with the department on such a tool. In 2019, CCE also helped create a former housing affordability tracker that was also filed on the Miami-Dade County website, Bachin said.
The new tool was created with more user-friendly software, and the information is completely updated as of 2019, when 14,000 new affordable housing units were developed in Miami-Dade County.