MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami has become one of the hottest places to own a house, making it hard for some to stay, while others are priced out. But leaders are working to recoup vacant lots and turn them into more affordable homes.
“Halloween, especially Christmastime, New Year’s like how we pop fireworks, it’s like everybody in the neighborhood just gets together,” Marie Adrian said.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Police Officer Not Injured After Coming Under Fire
Adrian has grown up across the empty lot on 53 Street. She told CBS4 the neighborhood is like a big family that will soon welcome some new faces.
“It’s a real big lot.”
It’s a mystery why it hasn’t been transformed earlier as it has been going up in value along with homes nearby, which is why many families can’t afford a home.
“We have a huge challenge the average of a home in Dade County $330,000,” Miami District 5 Commissioner Jeffrey Watson said.
That’s just an average. It can obviously go much higher.
“We need to now be helpful be part of the transaction that allows people like my mom many years before like some of the hotel workers, like some of the hospitality workers like workers who do not have a high income to have an opportunity to be able to afford,” he explained.
Leaders along with Watson are now working to develop residences using federal funds through the HOME program, which builds homes then sells them to families making 80% of the area median income.READ MORE: Missing North Miami Beach Teen Jeimy Henrriquez Has Been Found
“Lord don’t make anymore land. The land we have is what we have.”
It’s no secret there’s not a lot of space left, let alone the kind that’s affordable.
“I believe this property was reclaimed through and provided for us to do this by someone who abandoned it, or it was coded,” Watson said.
Two local contractors will build ten homes on vacant land, but because of the lack of space, there will be two homes or twin homes per lot.
“With the average income being so low, it’s good that the people here have an opportunity here live in such homes,” Berry St. Vil with RJ Spencer Construction said.
Commissioner Watson is also working with families to upkeep their homes so they don’t get priced out and have to move.
In the meantime, he said the city hopes to clean up or build up as many vacant lots as possible.MORE NEWS: Officials: Man On American Airlines Flight From Guatemala Hitched Ride To Miami Inside Plane's Landing Gear
“You have a group of people helping others to find a home and build families, it’s really nice,” Adrian added.