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South Florida Is the Least Affordable Large Metro Area in the U.S.

Oh, hey, South Florida. Good news! We're number one in being the least affordable place to live in the 25 largest metro areas for moderate income households. Woo hoo! 

According to a new study from the Washington-based Center for Housing Policy and the Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology, South Florida households that make between $25,444 and $50,888 per year are spending almost three-fourths of their income just for a roof over their heads, and a car. 

Housing and transportation costs are so clusterfucked with local incomes, they swallow up a huge part of the household budget.

This is mainly due to South Florida incomes not keeping up with inflation. 

Bottom line: we're all earning a lot less than what we can afford. And we're not talking gold-plated yachts and buckets of caviar here. We're talking every day needs like a place to live and car to get to our jobs and schools.

Those who live in Broward and Palm Beach are coughing up an average of 40 percent of their income for their homes and an another 32 percent for getting around, according to the study.

"We are seeing the people who have used up their unemployment benefits," said Patrice Schroeder of 211 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, a social service hot line.

"We are seeing the people who have used up their unemployment benefits. People are scrambling."

In five years, Broward and Palm Beach counties have seen food stamp applications triple, according to the Florida Department of Children & Families.

Those who are doing slightly better than lower-income families -- something called the middle-class -- are finding it increasingly difficult to buy a home throughout Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade.

Center for Economic Research director, Jorge Salazar-Carrillo, says everybody needs to chill a little. It's really not that bad when you look at other places like, for instance, Washington D.C., where he used to live.

"I know there are problems here in South Florida," he says. "But it is worse in other areas." 

Yea, we're not as poor and indigent as you, D.C. Suck on that!

Salazar-Carillo also sites the awesome weather down here -- particularly in the winter time, when those who live up north have to turn on their heaters until March.

He also notes the food is also cheaper and people can take advantage of fresh produce grown locally. 

It's hot and we can all eat lettuce, so pipe down with the belly-aching!

So, relax, people. We may not look like the wastelands in the Road Warrior in five years, after all. Maybe more like Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. But that's it.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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