25 signatures reached
To: Commissioner Keon Hardemon, District 5, City of Miami
Affordable Housing for Miami Families Affected by Slumlords
March 1st, 2018
Commissioner Keon Hardemon
City of Miami Commissioner, District 5
City of Miami
3500 Pan American Drive
Miami, FL 33139
Dear Commissioner Hardemon:
This letter is in support of the Struggle for Miami’s Affordable and Sustainable Housing’s (“SMASH”) proposal for the development of Expedited Housing Facilities to relocate and rehouse families of District 5 who have been evicted or displaced because of the slum conditions of their rental apartments (the “Proposal”). Please find the Proposal enclosed for your reference. SMASH will be the project manager of the development.
SMASH is a local Florida nonprofit corporation that has worked closely with the community of District 5 to come up with creative strategies to solve the problems that residents are facing due to slum conditions of many of the rental properties in the area. SMASH’s Proposal of Expedited Housing Facilities is one of the community sourced ideas that came out of its collaboration with the community.
SMASH is requesting the provisional site control of certain City of Miami (“City”) owned properties for a period of 2 years in order to develop these Expedited Housing Facilities to rehouse slum affected families. With provisional site control, SMASH can request bids from qualified developers, seek financing, and ultimately build the much needed Expedited Housing Facilities. Since SMASH is targeting families and properties located in District 5, the Proposal and use of City owned property will require your approval, which I sincerely hope you will give.
As you know, the City of Miami does not have the capacity to relocate and house these families while Code Enforcement works with the property owners to bring their properties into compliance and provide safe, decent, and sanitary housing. Some of these properties may be beyond saving. SMASH’s Expedited Housing Facilities will fulfill that need by offering a cost effective and safe strategy to provide safe and decent housing to displaced families during this critical time. SMASH’s Proposal to rehouse these families appears to be one of the best and most effective solutions for our immediate needs.
Community Development Director George Mensah has identified City owned properties that are suitable for SMASH’s Expedited Housing Facilities. This list of properties is the one we urge you to approve for SMASH’s use through the 2-year provisional site-control agreement mentioned above.
Thank you for taking this matter under serious consideration. I wish you and the rest of the City of Miami the best of luck as they work through the slum conditions that have challenged us for so long.
Adrian Alberto Madriz
Struggle for Miami’s Affordable and Sustainable Housing
2103 Coral Way, 2nd Floor
Miami, FL 33145
Mayor Francis Suarez, City of Miami
Additional Signatorees Attached.
Expedited Housing Proposal:
Why is this important?
In 2014, low-income residents forced to live in slum-like conditions due to lack of resources began to organize for their rights to affordable, dignified housing and formed the "Smash the Slumlords" campaign. The women organized community meetings, educated other residents about their rights, garnered support from the city mayor and sought out legal action against slumlords. Conversations focused on the collective need and partnership with other grassroots organizations recruited allies from outside their community and helped bring the campaign into public light. Legal action against one slumlord led to his prosecution and the City of Miami placed his property under their control.
Afterwards, the residents of Liberty City rightfully demanded that the slumlord face greater consequences and that the buildings be repaired. However, when it became apparent that the buildings were so woefully neglected that they could only be condemned and destroyed, the City faced a new challenge: where to relocate the families in a city where there is a chronic shortage of affordable housing stock? In response to this dilemma, SMASH has tasked itself with developing expedited affordable housing units for these families on a Community Land Trust (CLT). Unlike other affordable housing projects, this one would be unique for its prioritization of extremely low-income families, and the community driven design and management process through the CLT model. This would not only provide the slum affected families of these buildings with the transitional housing units they need, but it could also be re-used for every set of families that find themselves in similar circumstances. Once they are relocated, their original buildings can be condemned, destroyed and rebuilt into permanent affordable housing where the families have a right to return.