WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – New numbers from Realtor.com show the median rent in South Florida was just under $ 3,000 per month in March.
That’s a 57% jump from the previous year and by far the largest percentage increase in the nation.
The news is especially bad for low-income residents who find themselves priced out of paradise.
“There’s a lot of people struggling. I see it every day,” said Jacob Beychok, lead staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.
Beychok is part of the rapid response eviction program at the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.
He said his list of clients needing assistance and affordable housing continues to grow because of rising rent increases.
“Landlords are sending notices increasing the monthly rental amount by as much as 20% or 30% for these tenants to renew their lease,” Beychok said.
People living on a low income may have to work almost two-and-a-half jobs to pay the increased rent.
The latest study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows a Florida resident working at a minimum wage of at least $ 8 an hour would have to work 93 hours a week to afford a modest one-bedroom rental home at fair market rent.
But if you live in the West Palm Beach area to Boca Raton, an individual would have to work 105 hours a week just to make rent.
Andrew Aurand, vice president for research for the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said the report highlights the lack of affordable housing.
“There are solutions to this, which is more investment in affordable housing programs,” Aurand said. “So, more production of affordable rental housing, as well as rental assistance or vouchers that could be provided to low wage workers and other low-income renters to afford housing in the private market.”
“I think Miami-Dade (County) has declared a state of emergency regarding the affordable housing crisis, and from what I’m seeing every day, we’re in an equally untenable situation here in Palm Beach County,” Beychok.