MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As rents soar and affordable housing becomes non-existent, thousands of people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
But there was step in the right direction in Miami-Dade County on Wednesday as Mayor Daniella Levine Cava signed the very first Tenant Bill of Rights into action. She also announced the opening of the Office of Housing Advocacy.READ MORE: NOAA: 'Above Average' 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Predicts 6-10 Hurricanes
The bill offers protection to people served eviction notices, those who are dealing with massive rent hikes or landlords who can’t afford renovations and repairs.
“They are really driving us out,” says Keisha Guyton, a renter in Miami-Dade County.
“It’s heartbreaking not only for the families but for all of us. We know this is not sustainable. It’s a national problem but it’s truly a bigger problem here,” says Cava.
She says the Tenant Bill of Rights is part one of the solution to the affordability crisis.
“We have to protect people from eviction. We have to make sure they can pay their rent. We have to make sure landlords maintain affordability. We have to build more affordable,” she explains. “We have federal dollars under the emergency rental assistance program ERAP. We’ve saved 17,000+ people from being evicted thus far. Those funds are still available,” she says.
“It’s like in Miami-Dade 50% of us are renters,” says Keisha Guyton.
For people like her, this relief couldn’t come at a more critical time.
“I was in a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment that was only $1,608,” explained Guyton.READ MORE: Insurance Bills Clear Committee, Move To Florida Senate
But when her building sold, and she began searching for a new place, reality set in.
“I couldn’t see anything under $2.500, $3,000. I even called someone who said $4,300. And these aren’t any luxury places you know?”
I asked the mayor about the severe lack of affordable housing. She says more options are coming.
“Part of our building blocks program is to cut the red tape, move construction permitting quicker. It’s not something that can be solved with just one aspect. We have to do all of it,” says the mayor.
The Office of Housing Advocacy is open and ready to help. Here are all the ways you can contact them:
Phone: (786) 469-4545
Website: miamidade.govMORE NEWS: Florida Tourism Thriving Ahead Of Memorial Day Weekend
The housing crisis is leaving many desperate for help. That’s why CBS News Miami wants to share your stories to show the crisis you’re in or how you navigated the system. We will highlight these issues and work to get answers and solutions. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.