What it's about:
Miami is on the brink of an affordable housing crisis due to rising sea levels triggered by climate change, urban experts warn.
Higher seas and severe flooding have sent the price of houses in safer locations in the U.S. city soaring, particularly in elevated areas where many working-class communities of colour live, writes Jeremy Deaton in an article for the Huffington Post.
The steepest price increase is happening in areas that are best protected against climate change, Deaton notes.
“We’re experiencing an affordable housing crisis. People are being displaced from neighborhoods where they settled years or decades ago,” Natalia Arias, a director at the CLEO Institute, an organisation dedicated to climate change advocacy, told Deaton.
Valencia Gunder, founder of non-profit Make the Homeless Smile, said the price of a dilapidated house in the working-class neighbourhood Liberty City rose from $80,000 to $425,000 between 2010 and 2018.
Why it's noteworthy:
The affordable housing crisis in Miami is an example of “climate gentrification”, writes Deaton, as the impacts of climate change reshape the real estate market.
As sea levels rise, homes in low-lying areas are losing value, while those in elevated neighbourhoods are becoming the most expensive, the author notes.
This trend is having a serious impact on working-class families who are being forced to sell their homes as floods inflate insurance costs, according to urban experts in Miami.
They are calling on city officials to build more affordable housing and raise the minimum wage in Miami so that working-class communities can continue living there.
Investment in wind and solar energy, as well as sea walls, is also crucial, according to advocates. Such climate measures will generate jobs and could be a lifeline for communities struggling to stay afloat, the article notes.
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