Black, Latino households face tighter budgets amid rising rent in south Florida

The spike in rental and home prices makes it challenging for renters to pay other bills

Black and Latinos are said to be most affected by the rising costs of housing in South Florida. 

According to data from Zillow, rental costs in Miami/Fort Lauderdale were up 20% in August compared to the previous year, NBC Miami reports.

“I have not seen any jump like that ever, not only since I am an adult and working in real estate, but also looking at the data historically,” Dr. Eli Beracha, director of the Hollo School of Real Estate at Florida International University told NBC Miami.

The spike in rental and home prices makes it challenging for renters to pay other bills, most especially in Black and Latino households. 

“Rising rent prices take a major chunk out of people’s paychecks,” Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker said, per the report. “A common metric is around 30% or a third of your income, but we see a lot of renters flying past that benchmark.”

According to an analysis by Zillow, 41% of the income in Latino households goes to rent. Black households have 40% of the income going to rent, while 35% of the income in white households goes to rent, per the report.

“All of this leads up to a much tighter budget, and a much more difficult time dealing with rent increases for renters of color,” Tucker said.

The rental process becomes even more challenging for consumers using a housing voucher.

“I found a place, the landlord was willing to rent to me, he wanted $1,900. The Section 8 voucher told him they would only pay $1852,” prospective renter Keisha Guyton told NBC Miami.

“Forty-eight dollars less and he was like, ‘hey, I can get somebody to pay that and more,’” she said.

A demonstrator holds a sign as she listens to speakers during a summer “Resist Evictions” rally to protest evictions in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The current rental market could mean longtime south Florida residents will have to relocate.

“It will force people like me who are born and raised in Miami, to not be able to live here,” said attorney Denise Ghartey who works with the city’s Community Justice Project.

Zillow economic data analyst Nicole Bachaud predicts that South Florida may become the worst place in the country for renters as wages and salaries have barely increased amid the exorbitant housing price hikes.

“It’s going to become the most unaffordable rental market in the country as the end of the year comes as rent prices and renters’ incomes are unable to keep up,” said Bachaud.

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