‘This crisis is only going to get worse’: Many struggling to find affordable housing in Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — With rising costs, it’s a struggle to find affordable housing.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

Home prices and rents are through the roof.

“The most recent statistics here in metro Orlando, rent has gone up 38% year over year. A one-bedroom apartment on average is now costing a bit over $2,000,” said Catherine Steck McManus, with Habitat For Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County. “We are truly trying to bring as many single family homes to the market that are affordable.”

She see the impacts firsthand.

READ: Developers: Here’s how to solve Central Florida’s housing crisis

“I had a young woman walk into our office. She said to me, ‘I have nowhere else to go. I’m living in my van with my three children. I have a job. I don’t know what to do.’ That’s the story that we’re going to continue to hear more and more if we don’t collectively come together and try to find a solution,” Steck McManus said.

A new Habitat for Humanity subdivision in Pine Hills had 32 homes already occupied, with more under construction.

Steck McManus said the cost of building a house today with all the supply chain issues makes it hard to keep things affordable.

“It’s costing Habitat for Humanity $25,000 more per home to build this year than last year,” Steck McManus said. “We’ve got to take a look at those supply chain and material issues. I don’t know that that’s a quick win. But it’s certainly something if we can have some of these costs go down. It allows us to be more flexible.”

READ: Why Orlando’s housing market is so attractive to investors

High demand and low supply are also pushing prices higher.

“We’ve got less than a month of inventory statewide. A balanced housing market should have six to nine months of inventory,” said Scott Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting.

Florida lawmakers sent a letter to the governor, calling for action to bring stability to the “volatile market.”

READ: Rising interest rates pricing buyers out of the housing market, realtors say

“If we don’t find a solution collectively, this crisis is only going to get worse,” Steck McManus said.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.