‘It Has Come to the Point Where You Wonder if You Can Stay in This City,’ Floridians Ask as Prices Soar

Image via Shutterstock

By Giselle Balido

October 3, 2022

Sunshine State residents continue to feel the economic pinch that is making many leave the place they call home, but can no longer afford. Here’s what they have to say.

As Floridians struggle with the rising cost of living—from rent to property insurance, and from food to medicine—many are expressing their growing frustration with the place they call home, but now find increasingly unaffordable. 

“I need to move from my apartment, but as hard as I try, I can’t find anything at a price I can afford,” Flora González, a nanny in West Kendall, told Floricua. “In some places the owner charges whatever he wants; there is no cap, no control. It has come to the point where you wonder if you can stay in this city.”

Her frustration is justified, as Florida now ranks number one in the US in housing unaffordability, with 56.5% of renters spending 30% or more of their income on housing. 

“We have people who are leaving, not because they want to, but because they have to, they cannot afford to live here,” Sen. Annette Taddeo, who is running against incumbent María Elvira Salazar in November, told Floricua. “The cost of housing is prohibitive and that is not Biden.”

RELATED: DeSantis’ Top Aides Tried to Help Companies Bypass Rent-Control Restrictions

In fact, since Gov. Ron DeSantis took office in 2019, rents in the Sunshine State have increased by 40% compared to 25% nationally, according to data from Apartment List

Postponing a Dream

At the same time, Florida home values have spiked by up to 26.7% over the past year alone, forcing many hardworking Floridians to forgo their dream of buying a home. 

“I would love to own my own property, but unfortunately, everything, and I mean everything, is above my price range at this time,” says Talia Pizango, a South Miami hotel employee. 

According to Charlie Crist, who is running to unseat DeSantis in November, the Republican incumbent has made the housing crisis worse by, among other measures, signing legislation that cut in half the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Crist agrees with Democrats that the state Legislature must provide these funds intended for affordable housing, and not “sweep” the dollars as has been done for more than a decade, to the tune of over a $2 billion shortfall.

RELATED: As Prices Continue to Soar, Rep. Charlie Crist Unveils Affordable Housing Plan for Floridians

At the same time, Talia has breathed a sigh of relief that her rent has not gone up by much so far.  But she finds the price of food outrageous.

“For health reasons, I need to eat a diet of fresh fruits and produce, and the prices are off the charts! So you find yourself going without sometimes, or having to choose between food and other necessities.”

Leydi Camacho, however, has not been as fortunate as Talia when it comes to rent. In one fell swoop, her rent went up a whopping $950 a month, forcing her to make tough choices in other areas. A self-employed manicurist from West Kendall, Leydi has also seen the price of beauty supplies skyrocket. 

“The supplies that I use in my work have gone up so much that I have had to raise my prices,” the mother of an adult daughter and a young son told Floricua. “For example, a bottle of alcohol was $6, now it’s $20.” 

More Pressure on the Family

Due to the price of gas, other service providers have also seen the need to raise their prices. The transportation service that took her child to school, for example, raised its rate, forcing Leydi to make other arrangements. All this, she says, creates more pressure on the family, as there is less free time to spend together. “It´s not just the economic factor. The family suffers with all of this.”

Alfredo Cañizales, a Homestead resident who works in the pest extermination business, has also suffered the consequences of the rising cost of living.

“Going to a restaurant, or to the supermarket, it’s prohibitive. I think politicians need to do more to help the people. Florida is becoming impossible for working people.”

A Global Issue

“There is a lot that goes into the inflation problem that we have had,” says Tadeo.  

“It’s not just the United States; it’s actually global, and it has to do with a lot of issues. But of course, the pandemic was a major issue with transportation and import and export of goods, without forgetting, of course, the conflict with Russia.”

RELATED: He Does It Again! DeSantis Hands Out Checks, But Fails to Say They Come From Federal Plan He Opposed.

According to Taddeo, “yes, there is a lot that goes into this, but we need to come up with solutions to help people, and that’s what the Democrats have done,” she says, citing President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which DeSantis voted against and continues to steadfastly oppose, while doling out the federal funds as he called himself “DeSantis Claus.”

The November elections are crucial, says Taddeo, because the people Floridians put in power will be the ones to fight, or not fight, for their best interests. Taddeo’s message is clear:

“Help us make sure that we keep congress in good hands, that we don’t go backwards, and that our kids, my daughter and your kids, have a future in America.” 



  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.



Local News

Related Stories
Share This