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Urban Housing Crisis in the U.S.

By Brendalis Puig

The housing market crisis has overtaken cities across the United States, escalating to unthinkable levels. Due to inflation and greater demand, rent is becoming increasingly impossible to afford, preventing vulnerable communities from securing stable housing — especially in Miami-Dade County.

As the cost of real estate abruptly rises, people are getting pessimistic about surviving the battleground of finding a place to live.

“A studio apartment smaller than a classroom costs $1,350 a month if people [don’t] have roommates, I don't think anyone could afford to live here,” said Emilyanne Eckardt, a senior majoring in psychology.

The high cost of rent across the country has even forced the most vulnerable communities into the streets.

Last November, U.S. News and World Report highlighted that the top five of the most expensive cities to live in the United States based on rent and annual housing costs for mortgage-paying homeowners were:

1.San Diego

2.Los Angeles



5.Santa Barbara

For perspective, the average monthly rent in San Diego is about $2,997; in Los Angeles, it is $2,719; in Honolulu, it is $2,112; in Miami, it is $2,451; and in Santa Barbara, it is $2,842. Additionally, the real estate company Rocket Homes reports that Miami home sales prices are 6.8% higher than they were a year ago.

Students residing in Miami worry that even if they obtain a job that pays well, they will still be unable to afford housing in livable conditions.

That is the case for Virginia Rivas, a junior majoring in biology who moved from Philadelphia to Miami and expressed how hard it is to find affordable housing, particularly in big cities.

“Most apartments are overpriced and don’t even have basic necessities like a kitchen. This would lead to eating unhealthy meals like takeout or things that don’t require a kitchen, and it is overall unlivable,” said Rivas. “It is not fair that our generation cannot afford to live by ourselves, as a lot of millennials still live with their parents because of high rent prices.”

The struggle is not only for those who want to move into large cities but also for those who were born and raised there like Brianna Torres, who was born in Miami and has witnessed how the cost of her rent has multiplied over time.

“It has gone to the point where Miami has become almost unaffordable to live in, and it’s terrifying to think about that,” said Torres, a senior majoring in television and digital media.

Miami is now among the most popular cities in the United States.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals began relocating to large cities as a result of the shift to remote work. People who worked remotely had the flexibility to move to other states, even if the company they worked for was established in a different state. In November, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Florida experienced more people moving in than the national average.

Individuals who work remotely represent a large percentage of the people moving into Florida. In an earlier report in April 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that remote employment is the primary cause of the skyrocketing increase in housing prices.

The dream of being able to live in the Sunshine State keeps getting out of reach, leaving aspiring homeowners and even Barry students no choice but to settle elsewhere.

Barry students looking for more affordable housing alternatives outside of Miami can consider neighboring cities, including Hollywood and Hialeah. Hollywood is situated 20 miles north of Miami, offering an average monthly rent of $2,054. Hialeah, located 11 miles northwest of Miami, offering an average rent of $2,058, making it another affordable option.

The city of West Palm Beach, located 71 miles northwest of Miami, is another option to take into consideration, with an average monthly rent of $2,232. Similarly, North Lauderdale, situated 35 miles north of Miami, offers an average rent of $2,004, providing a more budget-friendly option. For students looking for ever cheaper options, 39 miles south of Miami is the city of Homestead, offering one of the most affordable alternatives at a monthly average of $1,800.

As lawmakers look for efforts to help the housing crisis, the most significant initiative was last year at the legislative session where Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Live Local Act into law, allocating $711 million to various programs intended to increase the number of available homes and downpayment aid. Even though this program made a positive contribution, there is still more to do.

Given how the ongoing housing crisis is consuming large cities like Miami and many others, urgent action seems necessary. The housing crisis is one of the significant challenges affecting America, and lawmakers like DeSantis are taking the situation into consideration and beginning to prioritize affordable housing to guarantee that every individual, even the most vulnerable and isolated, has access to safe and stable housing conditions.


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