We need sufficient wages for all workers, not cheaper housing for a select few.
It is my opinion that establishing perpetual subsidized housing has consequences. One known is that those properties will not be on the tax rolls. Another consequence is that subsidized businesses and workers will be at a competitive advantage to those unsubsidized. It just is not fair. Nor is it a sustainable long-term solution.
Not being able to live where one works is a problem. … A real, everyday, no-bull issue. Long commutes, wasted time/energy/resources and lack of family time to name a few are huge costs. People leaving the Keys for the (ugh!) mainland disrupts our economy, schools and neighborhoods. Stable/established/trained/happy workers are a huge benefit to the fabulous Florida Keys. This is a special place and it costs more money to live here than the mainland. Higher wages to offset the higher living costs is the solution the marketplace would normally provide. Subsidized housing corrupts the business ecosystem.
I think we need to endure the pain of losing workers until businesses pay the required wages to allow those workers to return or remain. I know it is easier said than done. And it would disrupt families. businesses, schools and the community. Families being forced to move away and businesses being forced to pay is painful. It is an awful cost to have to endure this transition for all. The net result is that some families and businesses will be traumatized in the short term. And long term it will cost even more to live here.
In the long-term “change is our friend”, despite its unpleasant and cruel process. I believe that if we had not had affordable housing mandated by past laws. We would be enjoying higher worker wages today. The longer we wait for the business ecosystem to stabilize, the more extreme the eventual correction or continued interventions will be. I also believe that it is unfair to subsidize the wages of some businesses to the disadvantage of other businesses.