By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – The City of Miami Beach announced last Thursday it will accept online pre-applications for studio apartments in its affordable housing program starting Monday, July 1st through Friday, July 5, 2019. It was not clear how many apartments were available, but certainly there will be a lot of interest.
The opportunity is for studio apartments with a maximum two person capacity, and a rent of $739.00 per month. Applications are available for Madeleine Village Apartments at 7861-7871 Crespi Boulevard and Neptune Apartments at 1632 Meridian Avenue.
“Affordable housing is everyone’s goal,” said City Manager Jimmy L Morales. “The opening of the waitlist provides a valuable opportunity for our lower-income residents to live, work and play in one of the most beautiful communities in the world.”
For context, according to a July 2019 report by ApartmentList.com, in Miami Beach the median monthly rental price for a one-bedroom is $1,000, and $1,270 for a two-bedroom. There was no data available for studio apartments.
However realtor Bianca O’Donnell of Keller Williams Miami Beach explained that, “These prices are not our median South Beach rental prices. The lowest priced two-bedrooms available in Miami Beach $1,750 with the median price being about $2K.”
Applicants for the affordable housing program must meet the minimum household income of $8,868, which represents annualized rent. Applicant income cannot exceed eighty percent Area Median Income (AMI) of a single occupant of $47,450 per year, or two earning $54,200 per year.
Once the waitlist is closed, the city will randomly select 1,000 people from the submitted applications for addition to the city’s affordable housing waitlist. Officials say this selection will occur at a public lottery drawing on July 10, 2019 at 10AM in the Commission Chambers and applicants may attend in person.
Results of the drawing will be posted on the city’s website on July 12, 2019 and applicants can track their position on the waitlist online. The online pre-application can be accessed at https://secure.miamibeachfl.gov/housing.
Anyone needing assistance to apply is encouraged to visit the Office of Housing and Community Services located at 555 17th Street, Miami Beach.
In related news the city is set to vote allowing residents to rent “accessory dwelling” on a long-term (over six-months) basis. The Miami Beach Planning Department defines accessory dwelling units as “small living rooms” that have their own bathroom and kitchen.
Sarah Leddick, a Mid-Beach resident who sits on the city’s affordable housing advisory committee, told the Miami Herald that the committee supports the proposal.
“We’re kind of in a crisis right now in Miami Beach because it’s become so expensive that it’s hard for the middle class to stay here,” she said.
In Miami-Dade County, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation defines an affordable rate for a one-bedroom apartment as up to $1,771.