Make Key West Affordable

 In America there are winners and losers. This can be on the field of sport, in business, in the simple act of making a decision or due to public policy. What’s most important is you accept loss with respect and you win with grace. 

 

 With that little bit of imparted wisdom I’d like to try an figure out how to make key west more affordable for those that choose to call key west home.

 As most of us that live in Key West Florida know it’s very difficult to find affordable housing. There are many factors that cause this phenomenon. Aside from the basic law of supply and demand former elected officials  made some decisions which have directly  affected the ability of the much needed workforce to have a roof over their head and a place to sleep. Housing!


I seriously began to understand our housing issues and saw a possible solution during census 2020 (my third decade as a us census worker) My job was to go to address's thruout Key West to determine the occupancy of 1000's of homes that did not respond to a mail in form.  I was shocked to discover hundreds and hundreds of homes, condos,apartments etc that are licensed by Key West as hotels yet would not be considered a hotel anywhere in the world but here. These are private residences licensed by Key West to offer nightly rooming. This government  decision takes housing stock out of the free market by classifying these homes as commercial rentals.

 

 While allowing homeowners the right to earn income from their property is a part of a free market, Key West government in my opinion has lost site of just who they serve: the people that live and work in key west, in other words the voters. These homes that are licensed as hotels are investment properties mainly and their owners in many cases do not live in them, nor do they reside in Key West. They reside out of state and rent these homes out to tourists mainly during the winter which pays their mortgage. This has unintended consequences; ie taking housing stock out of the free market rental market. This directly affects the workers and residents of Key West causing the increase of monthly rental rates to be artificially higher than they should be

 As part one of  my plan to create more affordable housing here in key west Id ask you to forward this page to our city official thru the email addresses Ive included below. Let our government know we want real change  at city hall that benefits the residents first not out of state investors. The next election is always on the horizon.   

Citymanager@cityofkeywest-fl.gov

Mayor@cityofkeywest-fl.gov