Miami-Dade Mayor Proposes $85 Million to Help Housing Affordability Crisis

Sofia Taddeo-Goldstein, Opinion Editor

Currently, Miami has the least affordable housing market in the United States, surpassing Los Angeles and New York City. In April, Miami-Dade declared a housing-affordability crisis. To combat this issue, on Aug. 29, Miami-Dade mayor Daniella Levine Cava, accompanied by Miami-Dade county commissioners proposed $85 million to fund the HOMES Plan.

The HOMES plan is an acronym standing for its five essential elements: “H” for housing preservation, “O” for opening new doors through innovative programs, “M” for mortgage and utility relief, “E” for expanding emergency rental assistance and “S” for securing new housing units.

“It’s a very ambitious plan, it has a lot of new things in it,” Mayor Levine-Cava said. “We’re excited to get started and see how many people we can help and to stabilize the housing market.”

To own a home in Miami,  the average family has to dedicate 80% of their income to their housing. Due to these housing issues, a major metropolitan location like Miami cannot accommodate an ordinary family. The HOMES Plan seeks to change this crisis by providing direct assistance to homeowners all over the county.

“The idea would be that demand would be reduced and prices would become more reasonable; but, we do have to also work on the income side, our incomes are not keeping pace with other cities, even though our expenses have shot up even higher,” Levine-Cava said.

The HOMES Plan is up for a vote in September by the board of county commissioners; if passed, it will provide $1,500 to thousands of eligible families throughout Miami-Dade. The HOMES Plan would also feature the lowest property tax rate in Miami-Dade since 1982. 

“We’ve done a lot to educate the public, as well as the commissioners about this program,” Levine-Cava said. “Some commissioners like one program more than another, right, there’s five different programs; but I think in general, they are persuaded that we need to do something.”

The HOMES Plan would provide advantages for landlords, renters, homeowners, developers and everyone along the housing spectrum.