JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Living in the Sunshine State is going to cost you.
Snowbirds are no longer the only ones flocking to Florida. The coronavirus pandemic brought a new wave of people looking to become Floridians. That’s one of the reasons why CBS News says Florida is now America’s least affordable place to live.
According to Realtor.com, the Miami area was the least affordable rental market in February. According to Realtor.com, the area of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach was the top Sun Belt market for rent increases that month, followed by the area of Orlando, Kissimmee and Sanford and the area of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Jacksonville came in at No. 8, with the median rate for rent at $1,570 and a year-over-year growth rate of 24.9%.
State Rep. Angela Nixon will join dozens of Jacksonville residents this weekend, protesting these price hikes.
“When there’s a shortage of things, you can jack the rates up supply and demand,” Nixon said.
A woman, who only wanted to be called Denise in this story, said her rent has increased at least $300 over the four years that she’s lived in her apartment.
“It’s hard for us to make ends meet,” she said. “It’s hard for us to keep up.”
She said that during the pandemic, she was not able to keep up with rent and was served an eviction notice. She said she was able to get some assistance, but after a late payment last month, she is now facing eviction again.
“I’m doing the best that I can and basically take it one day at a time is the way I can explain it,” she said. “It’s sad to know that I may be one day away from sleeping in my car.”
News4JAX asked Nixon what she and other elected officials will be looking to do to fix this housing crisis.
“Some of things we would be looking at be doing temporary rent caps, or if prices go up, they only go up a certain percentage,” Nixon said.
But many are scared any changes may come a little too late.