City of South Miami Tone-Deaf to Affordable Housing Issue
South Miami Electeds Respond From Dais, “I Hate To Burst Your Bubble, But South Miami Is Unaffordable”
SOUTH MIAMI, Fla. – When South Miami residents and businesses presented concerns during a recent commission hearing that the proposed ordinance mandating solar requirements will make South Miami more unaffordable, the Mayor and Vice Mayor refused to address concerns; instead, the commission doubled down on the argument that South Miami was unaffordable.
Mayor Philip Stoddard (1:58:43): “If you build a big house… What does a 5,000 sq. ft. house cost in South Miami? $1.5 – 2 million?”
When residents and local businesses pointed out that the Mayor’s examples continue to ignore affordable homes, the Vice Mayor added:
Vice Mayor Robert Welsh (2:03:36) “The Builders Association of South Florida sent a letter saying this ordinance will make South Miami unaffordable. Well, guess what? We’re unaffordable already… I hate to burst your bubble but South Miami is unaffordable.”
While rising property values are creating an affordable housing crisis, the City of South Miami Commission is attempting to pass an ordinance mandating solar requirements that threatens many of the community they were elected to serve.
The ordinance will mandate up to a $25,000 expense on all new houses, townhouses and many remodels within city limits making South Miami even more unaffordable and unattainable. It is imperative for the South Miami Commission to weigh the legitimate economic concerns of South Miami residents before hastily imposing a poorly thought out mandate for homeowners and home builders to put solar panels on homes in South Miami.
The local chapter of Family Businesses for Affordable Energy (FBAE) raised suggestions of ways to amend the ordinance to account for affordability that the South Miami Commission and Mayor Stoddard have largely ignored. Full letter submitted to the commission is below.
South Miami is already one of the most unaffordable communities in South Florida and city commission’s efforts to mandate solar will make it even more unaffordable. At the very least, residents should be adequately consulted before a mandate is thrust upon them, and should be made aware of the economic, legal, and safety consequences of that mandate.
On Wednesday, July 12th, the Commission will once again bring the ordinance up for a reading and vote.