Can blacks save money amidst housing costs?

Residents say cycle of working poverty to blame

Carla St.Louis | 1/9/2014, 9 a.m.
South Florida’s Blacks are in a precarious situation when it comes to saving. According to a report, consumers in Miami ...

“In Florida the cost of housing is generally higher in comparison to southeastern U.S. cities because of contributing factors like construction costs, competition, taxes and insurance,” said Channer, a Miami native.

According to the Wharton-bred real estate investor, South Florida’s housing market is grounds for intense competition for land, homes and apartments between local Floridians, residents throughout the United States and foreign nationals.

“The supply of cheap land in South Florida has been exhausted with development already ranging from Everglades on west to Atlantic Ocean on the east,” explained Channer. “When high demand for housing meets limited supply of cheap land, you will have high housing expenses.”

Gross had a different perspective on Miami’s cost of housing alluding to the phenomenon of the working poor, the concept of working for wages that don’t cover your monthly expenses. “Less and less of the new housing being developed in South Florida is affordable housing,” he said. “Meanwhile, people’s incomes are not rising.”

Charles Jackson, a resident of Liberty City echoed Gross’ sentiment. “The cost of living here is too high--that’s why I was considering moving to Georgia,” he said. “Housing here is expensive for little to nothing. For example, a rundown apartment sells for $800 monthly.”

A full-time personal trainer at an L.A. Fitness gym, Jackson works overtime and as a freelancer to cover his expenses despite earning $40,000 annually. “Coupled with the fact that I can’t find better paying employment in Miami because the majority of jobs want bilingual speakers, it makes it harder for me to save money,” he said.

For Blacks interested in devising saving plans, log on to www.consumerfinance.gov & http://1.usa.gov/1eCiTyQ

To read the quantitative data in its original form, log on to http://1.usa.gov/19EXjMD