AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Problem: Miami-Dade County is in an affordable housing crisis.

Background: In November of 2014, PACT Justice Ministry members voted to address affordable housing after hearing stories during our Listening Process of families that lost their housing, families living in hotels and abandoned homes, and the difficulty working families and the elderly have in finding secure housing. Through our Research Process over the past few years we have learned:

●        For rent to be affordable, it cannot exceed 30% of the household income.

●        However, more than a quarter of a million families in Miami-Dade pay more than half of their income on rent each month.

●        Because rent is so unaffordable, working families have to choose between paying rent, paying bills, child-care, buying medicine, buying food, and other necessities.

 

Affordable Housing Trust Fund:

●        Because of PACT’s work, in 2015 the County’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) was reactivated after 8 years of dormancy and the Miami-Dade Board of County Commission passed language that allocates 50 percent of AHTF monies to families making $34,000 and below.

●        We were able to get the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners to support an allocation of $10 million dollars from general revenue to the AHTF.

●        After a compromise with the Mayor’s office, the 2016-2017 budget passed guaranteeing that 50% of all carryover funding from the previous year’s budget would be allocated to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

●        PACT and our advocacy partners are continuing to work towards a sustainable annual source of 10 million dollars for the Trust Fund.

 

PACT Affordable Housing Workshops:

●        In an effort to keep our community informed on housing-related resources and policy-issues, PACT hosted two workshops in January 2017.

●        We brought together experts from Miami Beach, Homestead, Hialeah, and Miami-Dade County housing authorities as well as City of Miami housing programs, for-profit and not-for-profit housing developers, and community development corporations.

●        Through this exercise in collaboration, as well as hours of meetings and research, we learned a lot about the need for increased planning and accountability and cooperation between jurisdictions in the field of housing.

●        For example:

     ○        Between all of its sources of funding (federal, state, and local), the County’s Public  

     Housing and Community Development budget equals $525 million dollars. And yet, so

     many people are still struggling to afford safe and decent housing.

     ○        There are six “entitlement” cities within Miami-Dade County, in addition to the County

     government itself, that receive federal funds for housing. These are: Hialeah, Homestead,

     City of Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, and North Miami.

     ○        As of now, there is no comprehensive plan that unifies all of these governmental

     entities to address the affordable housing crisis.

Progress this year:

·         At our annual Nehemiah Action Assembly this year (March 27th, 2017), we brought together 1400 people to press Mayor Gimenez to take leadership on this issue. Because of our power in numbers, he agreed to bring the six entitlement cities and the County together by June 5th, 2017 to create a 5-year plan to address the affordable housing crisis by June 5th, 2018.

·         We look forward to the progress that this plan will stimulate and to continuing to make the community’s voice heard on this crucial issue.