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January

Kevin Greiner, a fellow at FIU’s Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center that created the affordable housing report, said the finance corporation was actually suggested by city staff to make the process more efficient. “The issue going forward is one of scale, we need to ramp it up,” he told the commission.

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Miami is among the least affordable cities in the U.S., and needs to build or rehab 32,000 residential units over the next 10 years to help alleviate its affordability crisis, according to a new report from Florida International University. City of Miami commissioners will convene a meeting to focus on recommendations from FIU’s Affordable Housing Master Plan, as well as other options at a special meeting later this month.

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In 2002, prior to Miami 21’s passage, FIU’s Metropolitan Center released a study advocating the transformation of an old railyard into a complex of residential towers with retail and office mixed in as a means to promote economic development. The result was Midtown Miami, and Ned Murray contends it helped spark the revival of Wynwood, Edgewater, and the Design District. At the time, affordable housing wasn’t an issue, but that changed “very quickly” with the onset of Miami’s housing boom in 2004

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Ned Murray, associate director of Florida International University’s Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center, presented aspects of the plan. Murray believes the affordable housing master plan created for Miami is a model for the entire country and is very doable. The ones that exist are aspirational, Murray said.

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The City of Miami ordered a study about a year ago to help solve its housing affordability crisis, and that plan was released this week by the Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center at FIU.

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The Miami Affordable Housing Master Plan, a radical 10-year road map to address the housing affordability crisis of the 470,000 residents of the City of Miami, was finally unveiled on Wednesday to a mostly positive response.

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If Miami’s political leaders are serious about solving the city’s growing affordability crisis, here’s what a sweeping new plan to be unveiled Wednesday says they need to do: Create a bank to finance affordable housing construction and renovations, streamline permitting and tweak zoning, then get small and mid-size developers churning out 3,200 units of housing every year for 10 years — a scale and pace that the plan’s authors call “unprecedented.”

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The public is invited to attend a City of Miami Sunshine Meeting from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive. City commissioners and their staff will review the Miami Affordable Housing Master Plan prepared by the Florida International University Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center that lays out a 10-year strategy to address the area’s affordable housing shortage.

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In 2019, we benefited from the generosity of some of our institution’s biggest champions, with philanthropic donations to our School of Music, the Metropolitan Center and for degree completion, among other things. And our Ignite program reached new heights with over 80 percent of FIU employees donating to worthy FIU programs.

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February

“Every data source we use is legitimate. While we consider ourselves data experts, we rely on the U.S. Census. That’s not unheard of to have two districts with the same median household income; that’s U.S. Census data at the block group level, not FIU,” Murray said.

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Affordable housing continues to concern Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. Both are working with the Florida International University Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center to consider options as housing prices increase beyond the reach of most locals.

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After nearly five hours of deliberation and public testimony, the Miami Affordable Housing Master Plan took another small step closer to fruition Friday after City of Miami commissioners voted 5-0 to accept the study’s findings. But the commission stopped far short of adopting and implementing the detailed plan, which lays out a 10-year strategy to build or preserve 32,000 affordable housing units within the City of Miami limits.

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March

“Just as we saw with the 2008 Recession, job losses will cut across most industry sectors and occupations,” said Ned Murray, associate director of FIU’s Perez Metropolitan Center, in an email. “While many occupations in these sectors are low wage, these are big industry sectors employing many professionals as well.”

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The Jorge Perez FIU Metropolitan Center has embarked on a comprehensive applied research initiative on the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on South Florida. Our preliminary research has found there’s no widely accepted, consistent methodology for estimating the economic impacts of an infectious disease event the magnitude of COVID-19, and even less known about the short- and long-term impacts on local and regional economies and social environments.

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“We are an economy of small businesses,” Ned Murray, Associate Director of FIU Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center, said. “They’re going to be hurt because they don’t have the credit to survive this long term. They need demand, but in the “Covid economy,” that’s not a moving part right now.”

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The Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center (PMC) remains open. We are operating remotely, but our team remains in close contact with each other and with the communities we serve. The nature of our work lends itself to telecommuting, which we’ve practiced for the last five years. Ned Murray, Maria Ilcheva, Caroline Bernard-Stokes, and I are here to assist you with the community development and applied social science needs you and your organizations are meeting during this new normal.

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“This is an evolving story line that is getting more concerning by the day,” said Ned Murray, associate director of Florida International University’s Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center. “Passenger demand is being impacted by both fear and government warnings to stay away from cruises altogether.

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April

More than one-third of South Florida’s workforce earns less than $600 a week, according to the Florida International University Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center. The federal CARES Act stimulus offers $600 in unemployment benefits a week, compared with the Florida maximum of $275 a week.

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Experts with FIU's Perez Metropolitan Center forecast hardest hit will be low-wage, less educated, women and the young who rely on the hospitality and tourism industries, while chamber of commerce president predicts one in five small businesses will fail.

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“There’s never been anything quite like this in terms of industry shutdowns or near-shutdowns, and these are our major industry sectors here in South Florida,” said Ned Murray, associate director of the Met Center. Murray calls to mind the “Great Recession” of the late 2000s, where the United States lost 10 million jobs in the first two years, whereas with COVID-19, the nation has lost 10 million jobs in the first two weeks.

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“If unemployment hits 10%, that’s at least 137,000 jobs gone in Miami-Dade,” Ned Murray, of FIU Metropolitan Center, said. “I think its very likely the rate gets higher than 10%. There are some estimates the national unemployment rate could be 20% or more.”

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In a 2018 report, the Metropolitan Center at Florida International University found that nearly 55,000 of the more than 80,000 employers in the county have four or fewer employees. Those small-business employees are also among the lowest-earning workers: People who work in such micro-businesses earned 19 percent less than those working in businesses with more than 100 employees.

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“COVID-19 is the motherlode of economic shocks,” said Ned Murray, associate director of FIU’s Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center. “We are going to become the poster child for this crisis right away because of our high housing costs and reliance on industries dominated by low-wage employment.”

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More than half Miami’s economic output comes from the 82,000 companies with fewer than 500 employees, according to a Florida International University study. More than half of those — almost 55,000 — have fewer than 5 employees. Unlike large corporations, small firms are less likely to have access to lines of credit, and are also less able to exert leverage over a landlord to relax lease terms.

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Edward Ned Murray, a professor at the Florida International University Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center, said he expects job losses in Miami-Dade and Broward will exceed 100,000 each this year. The center is researching the short and long-term economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. "If unemployment hits 10%, that's at least 137,000 jobs gone in Miami-Dade," he said.

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Did you know that some of the services impacted by the Census include public safety, transportation, health, education and economic development? At a local level, FIU students and researchers rely on census figures every day to better understand population characteristics, business information and assess needs and service gaps.

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