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January

Affordable housing, along with sea level rise, has been a top challenge in Miami for more than a decade, says Ned Murray, associate director of Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center.

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Ned Murray, the associate director of FIU’s Metropolitan Center, has kept tabs on our local housing market for decades. He points to continued interest from overseas buyers and investors as one reason the Miami market is staying hot.

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Dr. Maria Ilcheva, the lead researcher of the report, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner for District 8 Daniella Levine Cava explained on Sundial which fields the gap remains large and where progress can still be made.

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Progress in closing the yawning chasm between the earnings of men and women appears to have stalled in Miami-Dade in the past couple of years, even as economic conditions for women improved marginally.

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A new report from Florida International University says the wage gap has actually increased in Miami-Dade County in recent years. According to the most recent data from 2016, women who work full time make 15 percent less than their male counterparts. The prior report showed a difference was only 13 percent.

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March

Progress on gender equality remains stagnant, according to a new report on the status of women in Miami-Dade County. “Gender differences persist in most areas of social and economic life,” the authors said, adding that the new data and analysis underscores that “progress on gender equality needs to be accelerated, and concerted efforts to be made to address the persistent gaps.”

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The 2019 report on the Status of Women in Miami-Dade County is the third report that tracks disparities between men and women, and progress towards closing the gender gap. Similar to previous reports, the 2019 volume shows that gender differences persist in most areas of social and economic life. This report’s new data and analysis underlines that progress on gender equality needs to be accelerated, and concerted efforts to be made to address the persistent gaps.

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April

Dr. Maria Ilcheva, FIU Metropolitan Center, says the reason so many people are moving out of town is simple: South Florida is becoming too expensive for them. “The biggest thing for us is housing and income levels, and those are related,” she said. “Housing is becoming more expensive, while earnings are stagnant. Our region from that perspective is becoming less attractive, and those two elements are becoming a major reason for why people are moving out."

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The Miami Dade Board of County Commissioners, the Commission Auditor and Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center on Mar. 19 announced the release of the third annual report on the status of women in Miami-Dade County.

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May

FIU Metropolitan Center's William T. Jackson received the "Making a Difference" award for his work as the founder and visionary of The Justice Project.

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On the South Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson and WLRN reporter Nadege Green spoke with Alfredo Duran, deputy director for the city of Miami's Department of Housing and Community Development; Annie Lord, executive director of Miami Homes for All; and Ned Murray, associate director of FIU's Metropolitan Center.

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More than 82,000 small businesses employ 53% of the Miami-Dade County’s workforce, revealed a study commissioned by the Florida Small Business Development Center. It also has a high percentage of microbusinesses, according to the FIU Metropolitan Center.

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June

"If you notice the areas with a lot of baby boomers, they're high priced areas" said Maria Ilcheva, assistant director of planning and operations for Florida International University's Metropolitan Center. "So, I would say the baby boomers we see staying and growing in size typically are the baby boomers who are in the very high income categories. These aren't necessarily the middle class baby boomers, because frankly I don't think they could afford it."

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For Murray, of the FIU Metropolitan Center, the business-friendly approach is beginning to show diminishing returns. “In Miami we still have this low-wage mentality,” he said. On the one hand, the Miami area has taken advantage of a steady inflow of cheap labor from overseas that continues to this day, he said.

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Fully 85 percent of Miami-Dade workers are in low-wage jobs, said Ned Murray, associate director at FIU’s Metropolitan Center. Overall wages in the tri-county area have risen 13 percent since 2011, slightly above the national increase of 12 percent. Few places across Miami-Dade, with the exception of Doral, have succeeded in creating a “critical mass” of advanced industry jobs, Murray said.

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The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season began on Saturday and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an estimated nine to 15 named storms. Maria Ilcheva is investigating how prepared Floridians are to face hurricanes and how they use information toward their preparations. Ilcheva is examining the measures residents, businesses and public officials are taking to mitigate the effect of hurricanes and what barriers exist to implement optimal preparedness.

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An estimated 77,000 renters in the county spend more than half their income on housing alone, according to a report issued by Florida International University's Metropolitan Center at the end of April - with data from 2018 - showing how much lower-cost housing Broward needs now, and for the future.

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he number of people spending more money than they should on housing in Broward County, keeps going up. An estimated 77,000 renters in the county spend more than half their income on housing alone, according to a report issued by Florida International University's Metropolitan Center at the end of April - with data from 2018 - showing how much lower-cost housing Broward needs now, and for the future.

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July

After decades of decline, manufacturing employment in Miami-Dade County is showing signs of a comeback, increasing 14.5 percent from 35,738 workers in 2012 to more than 40,800 in 2017, according to a new report from FIU. Sustaining the trend will be a challenge, however, as nearly one-third of local manufacturers said they have considered relocating out of the county.

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“This is a great collaboration that melds science, technology and public policy,” said Howard Frank, director of the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center, which will house the training program. “It combines the technological side of cybersecurity with the human and organizational side of the enterprise, through public policy and administration.”

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"Creating these types of high-paying jobs has an impact on the individual and on the community," said FIU Metropolitan Center's Maria Ilcheva. "On the other hand, the multiplier effect shows us that people aren't just getting higher wages but it also adds more value to all sectors of the economy. More money is generated that circulates throughout the economy."

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“[Broward leaders] are well aware of the state of their economy, and are concerned that if they don’t provide for their workers, it’s going to negatively impact them,” Murray said in an interview.

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And the problem is likely to get worse. Far worse, according to Ned Murray, associate director of Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center. “Employment projection for 2018-2026 from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity shows an increase in 144,493 jobs, most of them in low-wage employment,” Murray said. “This would result in an additional demand of an estimated 40,000 low-income renters over the next eight years.”

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August

At last night's city commission meeting, Kevin Greiner, a development planner with the FIU Metropolitan Center who sat on the evaluation committee, called it "a potentially transformative project for Dania Beach" and said that "the financial deal proposed to the city is excellent for the city ... the economics are extremely exceptional from the city's perspective."

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Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center is conducting a needs assessment of individuals with special needs for the Town of Miami Lakes. This research will specifically seek to understand service gaps for residents with physical and neurological disabilities and provide recommendations for services for this population.

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Kevin Greiner, Research Fellow at the Florida International University Metropolitan Center, talks about his data analysis that shows jobs and wages lost during the Great Recession have not returned in many parts of the state.

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Third year PhD student, Kaila Witkowski, was recently honored with the Scholarship for Public Administration, Public Policy and Public Affairs to attend the the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Throughout the summer, Kaila attended this internationally recognized, rigorous training program in statistical techniques, research methodologies and data analysis.

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“Miami has a small but important cluster of advanced manufacturers with significant value to the economy,” said Maria Ilcheva, assistant director of planning and operations at the Pérez Met Center and lead author of the report. “They help diversify Miami’s economic landscape and their continued growth is essential for boosting the county’s and region’s economic resilience.”

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September

Most home values in Little Haiti range from $73,000 to $180,000, a 2015 study by FIU”s Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center found. In neighboring, historically African-American Liberty City and Model City, to the west, investors are buying similar homes and renovating them to resell at prices ranging from $200,000 to over $300,000. Buyers come from the area or overwhelmingly Hispanic Hialeah farther west, where prices have risen even more.

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The predictions for affordable housing may mean a brighter tomorrow but, for now, Floridians are looking elsewhere as rent and cost of living inches higher. Over half of Miami’s population, 70%, are renters, according to research by Florida International University’s Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center. And a good chunk of the population spends over 30% of their paycheck each month on housing, which is more than what’s recommended for housing costs.

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The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Convergence Accelerator program has awarded a $1 million grant to a team of FIU researchers to evaluate the automation needs of the architecture, engineering and construction industries and develop a training program in partnership with several local firms and global industry experts. The FIU project is led by Professor Shahin Vassigh from the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) and involves faculty from the Metropolitan Center.

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Maria Ilcheva, professor at Florida International University’s Pérez Metropolitan Center, said it appears major U.S. cities are increasingly priced for a globally mobile population, creating a situation where only the very top slices of income groups — and the very bottom that service them — can live. “The middle is being displaced,” she said.

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Affordable housing is the prime focus for the two open houses organized for later this month by the City of Miami and Florida International University. City officials and FIU, which is conducting the research through its Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center, invite residents to discuss possible solutions and strategies for the affordable housing shortage, according to a release. The two talks will host the same discussion.

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In a new report, the Florida International University Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center finds that between 2012 and 2017, Miami-Dade added about 5,000 new manufacturing jobs, an increase of 14 percent. “The sector continues to grow,” said Maria Ilcheva, a Metropolitan Center professor and author of the report. “This is a good confirmation of what’s occurring after decades of decline.”

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October

“The location of this project, built close to the downtown area, means residents are in close proximity to employment opportunities,” said Ned Murray, an associate director at the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center

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“My hope is that our work will truly inform the town on the ways we can be more inclusive so that every resident feels like they belong and are considered,” Roldan said.

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The Miami Foundation partnered with the FIU Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center to conduct community surveys and focus groups to learn more about locals familiarity with and personal perspectives on the census.

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Our work is about more than providing grants. It’s also about building the capacity of the organizations engaging in census work and increasing the community’s understanding about the importance of census participation. To that end, we engaged the FIU Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center to conduct a survey and focus groups within Miami-Dade’s hard-to-count communities so we could better-understand attitudes and behaviors that relate to census participation.

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Next week, I look forward to having an in-depth conversation with my colleagues about the affordable housing crisis in Broward county. We will discuss the Broward County Housing Linkage Fee and Residential Linkage Fee Nexus Studies prepared by the FIU Metropolitan Center in addition to several affordable housing policy options, while also considering the impacts of recent State legislation.

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Community Developers and Financial Capability practitioners of all types are invited to join these interactive learning and action-planning session where Dr. Ned Murray and his team share the results of their research insights around the future of Community Development, and engage participants in thoughtful conversation and potential action-planning to adopt elements of the 21st-century approach to enhancing the vitality of our Florida communities.

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Miami-Dade’s housing affordability crisis is so dire, it now poses as much of a threat to the region as sea level rise, according to a recent market update prepared by Florida International University’s Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center.

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