MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Rent in the Miami-Dade area has gone up as much as 30 percent according to the county and Mayor Daniella Levine Cava is calling it an affordability crisis.

“One of my husband’s co-workers shared that he has to go find a new place. He rents locally in this area and they raised his rent this year like $7,800,” said one local woman.

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“For the very first time, we are allowing renters facing rent hikes to apply for this relief,” said Levine Cava.

To ease the strain on workers, the mayor has made an executive directive for an additional $13 million through the emergency rental assistance program to specifically help with rent hikes, but to those who qualify based on area median income level.

“So in terms of real dollars what does that mean for example, if you are a single person earning less than 50% of AMI you’re top threshold there is 31,650. For a family of four at the 50% AMI level that’s $45,200,” said Michael Liu, MDC Director of Public Housing.

“I live out in Kendall, I teach yoga, I do bodywork and I coach diving,” said Salim Lemond.

Lemond already has multiple jobs. He’s able to afford a recent rental increase of $200, but what if it went up by 1,000?

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“Me personally I would be very upset,” he said.

County resident Corrie Avila still worries there’s still not enough being done to stop people from leaving.

“These programs are great, but accessibility can be hard and sometimes a little too little, too late.”

From the county’s standpoint, the longer-term solution to the affordability crisis is to accelerate the development of more workforce housing.

“Nurse practitioners, public defenders, state attorneys, policeman and fire, obviously the middle class has this big in affordability as our struggling vulnerable populations always have,” said Eileen Higgins, MDC Commissioner, District 5.

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It may not be immediate, but county leaders are working to speed up the process to approve more housing.

Jacqueline Quynh