Orlando low wages and lack of affordable housing will kill supply of tourism workers

Last night, NBC news broadcasted from here in Orlando and highlighted the affordable housing crisis from a different perspective. The Central Florida native, who can’t afford to buy a home because they’re getting outbid from northern transplants (story HERE).

While at first I thought it was an awkward view on an issue that primarily effects lower income workers, it forced me to think further down the complicated issue.

Transplants take the single family homes.

Demand rises for housing overall, leading developers to stack and crowd multi-family housing projects together (and in environmentally sensitive areas).

And Orlando real estate, developers, and property owners get richer for less of the quality investment.

This leaves our lower income workers homeless. And while cost of living is going up here in Orlando, in other areas of the country, it’s going down because of colder weather and expanded availability. I experienced this first hand when the poor job market and high rent situation forced me to relocate last year.

And it won’t be long until these workers, who are the lifeblood of these billion dollar tourism giants simply can’t afford to live in Orlando anymore. We’re seeing traces of that now.

I’ve said it time and time again. Low wages from Orlando jobs and lack of affordable housing in Central Florida will eventually suffocate each other. And the lack of diversification of the economy will bite us hard. That angle falls on your elected leaders.

It won’t happen overnight of course. Maybe that’s why we’re seeing such sloppy planning right now. The people in charge will be long gone by the time anyone has to take responsibility for this mess.

But the consequences will be the same.

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