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Miami-Dade County Office of Tenant Advocacy

Policy Details

Policy Type: Policy
Jurisdiction: Local — Miami-Dade County, FL
Status: Passed
Tags: JEDI

Policy Summary

“We are working tirelessly to ensure that housing is more affordable, that it’s available and it’s accessible to all of those who call Miami-Dade County home,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

It’s a move county leaders hope eases the pain or at least helps somehow with soaring housing costs in South Florida, with the state being recently named one of the least affordable in the country.

Under Miami-Dade’s new tenant bill of rights:

  1. Allows tenants to deduct costs of neglected repairs from rent.
  2. Ban landlords from asking about past evictions.
  3. Establish office of housing advocacy.
  4. Landlords are required to notify tenants of new owners.
  5. Protect tenants from retaliation if they seek government help against their landlord.

This year, a new ordinance requires landlords to give 60 days notice when they increase rent by more than 5%, and although it won’t cap rent hikes…

Executive Director of the Miami Workers Center Santra Denis tells CBS4 this new ordinance is the first step to ensuring people can stay in their homes.

“Without the tenants organizing with their neighbors, without them saying this is not right, we wouldn’t be here today,” added Denis.

The more significant issue is rent hikes.  The county cites a report that more than half of the renters in Miami Dade spend more than 30-percent of their income on rent.

CBS4 asked the commissioners what was in the works to help tenants with rent.

“There’s no silver bullet for this,” said Gilbert.  “On a basic level, it’s supply and demand.  We have to increase the supply so we can bring down the cost.  We need to address transit and how quickly we do stuff.”

A report from the county posted on April 15th shows 44 affordable housing projects in progress, totaling more than 4700 units.  Nineteen such projects are 50% completed.

Miami Workers Center demands that make up the Miami Tenant Bill of Rights:

  • Establish a dedicated Office of the Tenant Advocate
  • Inform tenants of our rights
  • End discrimination based on past evictions
  • Enforce Accessibility and Safety for Tenants
  • Protect Our Freedom to Organize with Our Neighbors
  • Right to Counsel for All Tenants In Eviction Court

Read more: https://miamiworkerscenter.org/our-work/tenant-organizing/

Policy summary courtesy of: WSVN.com and CBS News and Miami Workers Center

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