Must Read: Miami’s Housing Shame

By Malena Amusa Feb 20, 2007

Too few people know that in Miami, behind the seductive backdrop of celebrity clubs and relentless sunshine, is a stormy fight of hundreds of poor people, many people of color, to find affordable housing. Gentrification is just half the story. Government-sponsored companies set to build affordable homes folded on their promises leaving hordes of folks out of quality living. The Miami Herald exposed the housing debacle last summer in a series of hard-cracking investigative reports. Housing authorities squandered millions of dollars in unlawful bundling of funds, the Herald found, resulting in residually homeless populations. Today, shantytowns have been erected in parts of Miami by homeless people who refuse to be displaced from their areas. Take a tour here: In addition, Black and Latino tensions are rising, according to folks I spoke with covering housing and employment. But more on that later. Joseph Phelan of the Miami Workers Center who wrote a piece for RaceWire in December about Miami’s dirty big secrets, will steer more news our way on the movement for housing. So far, he had this to say: "What is bubbling out of control is the local governments corruption, downright mistreatment of poor Black and Latino people and a building boom that is displacing historic Black communities and Latino neighborhoods. The Miami Workers Center is trying to focus on the need and ability to unite in the face of racial tensions to build a solid movement for racial and economic justice." Director of the Center, Gihan Perera, in a recent piece blasted Miami—host of the Super Bowl and apparently Third World underdevelopment. While RaceWire finds out why one Miami journalist said the city is set to produce the next L.A. riots, do check “House of Lies,” the Herald’s multi-part report on this debacle of inequality and greed. It might at the very least change your vacation plans…