University of Florida report shows Florida lagging behind the nation in affordable housing recovery
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Affordable Housing Crisis
Florida added hundreds of thousands of rental units between 2012 and 2021, but the number of units renting for $1K or less declined.

Nationally, rent growth is on the decline and the market is beginning to favor tenants. But that trend may be a ways off in Florida, according to research from the University of Florida (UF). 

With continuing population growth, Florida is an extreme version of what is happening in several strong rental markets in the country, said Anne Ray, manager of the Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse at UF’s Shimberg Center for Housing Studies.

“A slight cooldown would stop things from getting worse for renters looking for an affordable unit in Florida, but it can’t make up for double-digit percentage rent increases that already took place the last couple years,” Ray said. “This means the rental market is stabilizing at a really high rate.”

UF’s Shimberg Center for Housing Studies recently collected data on Florida’s affordable rental housing needs and discovered several key findings:

825,990 low-income households in Florida pay more than 40% of their income for rent.

— Florida added hundreds of thousands of rental units between 2012 and 2021, but the number of units renting for $1,000 or less declined.

— Florida added nearly 600,000 units with rents above $1,000 from 2012 to 2021.

More than one-third of low-income, cost-burdened renter households are headed by someone age 55 or older.

— Renters at all income levels participate in the workforce. Most nonworking renter households are made up of older adults or persons with disabilities.

— The county with the largest number of low-income, cost-burdened renters in 2021 was Miami-Dade, followed by Broward County.

UF data, collected between 2012 and 2021, showed large increases in both rent and in the number of households paying more than they could afford, Ray said.

The number of Florida’s households of all types increased by 309,594 between 2020 and 2022, according to UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), an increase that affected all 67 Florida counties. Miami-Dade County had the largest increase in households during that period, with an increase of 24,040.

“We saw population growth of about 1,000 individuals moving to the state of Florida per day during the pandemic between 2020-2022,” said Richard Doty, GIS coordinator and research demographer at the Bureau. “Robust growth is still occurring within our state. While not at the same rates as during the pandemic, we’re still seeing notable increases.”

Hope may be on the horizon even in Florida, though. In this year’s Legislative Session, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo successfully led efforts to pass the Live Local Act. The new law, which took effect July 1, includes tax breaks, incentives for new housing development and $811 million in funding to address the affordable housing crisis. 

“Tenants have a lot of ground to make up after years of hot rental markets in Florida,” Ray said, noting, however, that “affordable housing will continue to be a challenge for quite a while.”

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • DeSantis has taking a page out of the Nazi playbook

    July 12, 2023 at 10:27 am

    more evidence of sentences, lack of leader ship in governing Florida

    • Greet Them As A Nazi

      July 12, 2023 at 10:38 am

      Let’s greet him the way Americans greet a Nazi

    • JuliaJosef

      July 12, 2023 at 2:03 pm

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  • JD

    July 12, 2023 at 11:11 am

    25+ years of Republican controlled state has yielded this debacle.

    When it was balanced governance, things were getting better until 1996 when the Republicans took control and begun to erode everything good about the state.

    Ironically everything the haters hate about California (and keep telling people to move there if they don’t like “Free Florida”) has come to pass in Florida.

    Nice job FLGOP. Round of applause.

  • Mike

    July 12, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    I genuinely don’t understand why “affordable housing” is something I want in my community. There’s plenty of cheap houses where I grew up in the rust belt. Move there if you want to live cheap. It should surprise exactly no one that Florida was historically under priced and now is converging at fair price. The “affordable “ housing narrative sounds like a one way ticket to empower the government to manipulate the housing market and become the next California. No one wants to be California but people seem to line up to make the exact same mistakes.

    • Tom

      July 12, 2023 at 2:00 pm

      Wow. That’s an interesting take. I live in southwest florida and when they talk about affordable housing, they’re talking about all the people moving here who have driven the price of real estate so high that people who were born and raised here can’t afford to live anywhere near the cities and towns where they used work. You know, like the “little” people who work in restaurants and shops that cater to people from the midwest who sold up and moved here – you know the ones who sit around complaining about the poor service when the owner tells them he can’t hire any staff because they can’t afford to drive and hour each way for a minimum wage job.
      Next we’ll push out all those nasty illegals (busboys, waiters, construction workers etc.), businesses will collapse and the rich folks will have nowhere for their afternoon cocktails and five o’clock dinners.
      Then the real fun begins when the homeless rate goes through the roof and there you have it – the California of the south.
      These are things the Government should be addressing now, before they get worse, but what we have is a nasty little fascist bullyboy who cares more about his effing stupid culture wars then his own state.
      Maybe you should pack up and piss off to the rust belt if you like it so much.

      • NT

        July 13, 2023 at 9:49 am

        It is called greed..which desantis just went with NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING desantis is a wolf in sheep’s clothing…he CANT BE TRUSTED…The word RINO is desantis…DONT TRUST desantis…NOT LOYAL to the American people…
        NOT for the American people.

        Don’t kid yourself.

        TRUMP 2024..


  • Ed Slaveen Liberation Movement 👍

    July 12, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    Freedom for the rich and freedom t-shirts for everyone else.. this is the new GOP motto. If someone isn’t being exploited or making a dime.. it’s not allowed. Everything must be a tool for class warfare and exploitation. Governments only responsibility is to protect various entertwined grifts and exploitation schemes and promote the higher class over the next lowest on the totem pole.

  • PeterH

    July 12, 2023 at 1:12 pm

    The lack of affordable housing has made Florida the inflation State. As reported today in a CNN article Florida’s inflation is at 9% ……the highest in the nation. Couple inflation with the ever increasing property insurance costs and the January 2025 skyrocketing condo monthly maintenance and HOA fees and Florida with its zero income taxes …… may have one of the highest costs of living in the USA. Living that FREEDUMB has become expensive!

  • meri

    July 17, 2023 at 7:56 pm

    Inflation, high prices for home sales and rentals are NOT politics and
    NOT people issues or immigrants. They are what happens almost every 8-10 years., After 1970-when houses double in price and people were house flipping 1974 Gas prices up with odd and even numbers to buy gas. or 1978 when Banks did not give any mortgages to anyone. Take 1989-1996 when Housing were not selling (Buyers market)Not to remind us 2008-2011 GFC with a SLOW recovery. Face it we have CYCLES (7 Years approx.) so this is reginal do to other states being too expensive. This is REALITY GUYS, Not Politics!!.

Comments are closed.


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