‘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.


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.

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