The Florida Cities Where Some Essential Workers Can't Afford to Live, Creating Potential Staffing Shortages

L. Cane

When buying a home, a person is sometimes told that location is a very important factor. In real estate, the phrase "location, location, location" means that a property's price is heavily influenced by whether the property sits in a desirable area.

Many people who are actively working would like to have a home close to their job. This shortens commute times and theoretically lowers stress. Some municipalities require their city employees to live within the city limits. But this can be very challenging for those who live in cities with rapidly increasing home prices.

Below are some cities where housing has become a problem for essential workers like city employees, nurses, teachers, and police officers.

Naples: This city is south Florida's natural beauty has always ensured that it was a popular destination. However, over the last couple of years, it has become a haven for the very wealthy. The price for a home has risen 30% between 2021 and 2022 and the average price for a home in Naples in December of 2022 was 1.1 million dollars.

Such expensive housing means that the city government is struggling to attract and maintain workers such as firefighters and healthcare workers.

To address the shortage, NCH Healthcare System has converted 20 rooms at the local Super 8 motel into housing, but this only covers a small amount of their workforce.

Joe Trachtenberg, formerly a chief executive officer of an industrial manufacturing company, told Bloomberg:

“If we can’t hire police, if we can’t hire firemen and EMTs, that’s going to ultimately have an impact.”

St. Petersburg: This central Florida town is another example of a place where housing has increased substantially. Rent increased by 24% last year and the average price for a home is $410,000.

Those numbers make living in the city out of reach for some essential city workers. According to ABC Action News, some firefighters and teachers are struggling to live in the city where they are being called to work.

Philip Belcastro, an English teacher at St. Petersburg High School told ABC Action News:

“Virtually every teacher I know is looking at applications for other school districts, other jobs entirely, and sadly, it’s not because we want to leave the profession. It’s because we can’t afford it."

Miami: Home prices have risen near 25% over one year's time here with a median home price of around $543,000.

Because of these steep costs, one ICU nurse went viral on social media admitting that he could no longer afford to live in Miami after his landlord raised his rent by almost 40%.

According to Miami Today, some hospitals are offering incentives like sign-on bonuses and more team support to try to address nursing shortages.

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