Data reveals gap between wages and median home price for Florida hometown heroes


TALLAHASSEE, Florida., February 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Lots of florida according to a new data analysis by Florida realtors®. Sen. Ed Hooper (R-Clear water), Financial director Jimmy PatronisPresident of Florida Realtors Christina Papas and other leaders today highlighted data showing the disparity between median home prices and wages earned by many of the hardest-working Floridians in the pandemic.

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The data indicates that median home prices in Florida increased by 21% from 2020 to 2021 and by 58% since 2016. Hometown heroes, including firefighters, nurses, educators and paramedics, have not seen their salaries increase by a similar amount to the during this period. According to the data, on average, nurses would need to do $15,000 more per year, and paramedics and paramedics should earn $25,000 more per year, in order to afford homes in their own communities.

The data analysis comes as lawmakers discuss the creation of the Florida Hometown Hero housing program (SB 788) to provide interest-free loans to help these workers make a down payment and get help with closing costs. The bill, sponsored by Senator Hooper, received unanimous approval in its two committee stops. He now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“These workers are incredibly brave and throughout the pandemic they have kept us safe, cared for our families and educated our children,” said Senator Hooper. “We have to make sure we’re taking care of them too. Median house prices are exceeding $400,000 in many Florida counties and we need to make sure we do everything we can to help these heroes.”

Legislation creating the program would reduce the initial cost of buying a home for eligible local heroes whose jobs have put them on the front lines of florida fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible individuals include those from a specified list of occupations and whose household income does not exceed 150% of the state or local median income.

“Today I was thrilled to highlight the Hometown Heroes housing program and I can’t think of a more deserving group to champion than our frontline and emergency workers and their families. As Fire Marshal of your state, I have seen first hand the impacts these heroes have in our communities and the sacrifices they make day in and day out to keep us safe, especially during disasters. time to people that we don’t have a robust economy, good schools, great places to live, work and build businesses without our first responders working in the background 24/7/365 days a year,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “My wife Katie is a realtor, and I’ve found that when someone buys a home, they’re more likely to excel in their career, invest in schools, and become a stronger member of their community. Our first responders have their backs to one at all times, and we must always have theirs Thank you Senator Hooper and Florida realtors for working to make the dream of home ownership a reality for our first responders.

The Hometown Hero housing program would complement, but not impact, existing local, state, and federal affordable housing programs. The program would parallel the existing Salute Our Soldiers military loan program, which has successfully helped hundreds of veterans and active-duty service members buy homes.

“Our state is facing an affordable housing crisis and we must do everything we can to help the heroes who have done so much for us,” said the president of Florida Realtors. Christina Papas. “Homeownership is considered the norm for realizing the American Dream, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. Florida Realtors has been a tireless advocate for affordable housing policies. The assistance provided by the Hometown Hero housing will go a long way in helping make this dream a reality for many workers.”

Data compiled by Florida Realtors shows that in December 2021the median selling price of a single-family home in Florida has been $373,990, up 21% on the previous year – and 58.2% more than five years ago. Yet data from the US Census Bureau shows the state’s median household income in 2019 rose less than 5% from the previous year, reaching $59,227. The challenge of affording a home is even greater for workers such as those in law enforcement, health care and education, whose salaries are typically well below the amount needed to cover the down payment and closing costs.

A number of other organizations and associations have lined up to support the Hometown Hero housing program, including Florida Professional Firefighters, Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Association of District School Superintendents, Florida Health Care Association, Florida Nurses Association, Florida Ambulance Association, Florida National Association of Emergency Numbers, and others.

Learn more about the program and its benefits at

Other voices of support for the Hometown Hero housing program include:

florida professional firefighters have never stopped doing their job despite the added risk of the pandemic,” said Wayne “Bernie” Bernoska, president of Florida Professional Firefighters. “Unfortunately, many firefighters struggle to afford a home. This program should help your local firefighters become owners in the communities they serve. »

“Every day, law enforcement across the state voluntarily put their lives on the line to protect the safety of the communities they serve. Yet despite their daily sacrifices, many of these brave heroes are simply unable to live. in the communities they protect due to the rising cost of housing,” said the president of the Florida Sheriffs Association and Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum. “We support the Hometown Hero housing program because it can help change that for many dedicated MPs, making it easier for them to find a home they can call their own.”

“Teachers through Florida have done the near impossible over the past two years, ensuring that children safely receive a quality education amid ever-changing protocols and policies,” Sen said. Bill Montford, CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. “The pandemic has boosted the value of home, but for too many educators, the ability to own a home is beyond their means. The Hometown Hero housing program would give them a realistic opportunity to afford the kind of home they need – which, after all their hard work, they certainly deserve.”

“The Florida the medical professionals who go to work every day in nursing homes, caring for our state’s most vulnerable seniors – they are true heroes. They should be able to live in the communities they serve, but skyrocketing housing costs have left many of them out of the market,” said the CEO of the Florida Health Care Association. Emmet Reed. “The Hometown Hero housing program will put homeownership within reach, making a career in long-term care more realistic and rewarding. This is increasingly important to ensure that we always have enough trained people to take care of us. florida growing aging population.

The Florida Nurses Association showed its support in the following statement: “For nearly two years, florida nurses have made huge sacrifices on the front line throughout an unprecedented pandemic. They have worked tirelessly and heroically under extremely difficult circumstances, even as we have seen house prices spiral further and further out of reach, creating additional hurdles for nurses in their personal lives. The Hometown Hero housing program is a signal for florida nurses that their sacrifices are appreciated and that state of florida has an interest in helping them access property. »

“Through state of florida, our paramedics and paramedics are called to respond when needed. They are the everyday heroes in each of our communities,” said Terence Ramotar, president of the Florida Ambulance Association. “The Florida Ambulance Association thanks Senator Hooper and all the supporters who will empower these heroes to be owners in the communities they serve. SB 788 will enable more of our heroes to make that first installment through this assistance program , while honoring their bravery and commitment.”

“Most people have no idea the incredible stress that COVID-19 has placed on 911 operators. At the end of a shift, all we want to do is go home to a place good for us – but for too many people that’s not possible because housing is so expensive,” said Dan Koenig, past president of the Florida National Emergency Number Association. “By helping our 911 operators afford a home in the community they serve, this program would go a long way in keeping our operators happy and healthy, so they can continue to serve the public when needed.”

Realtors in Florida® is the voice of real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to 225,000 members in 51 councils/associations. Realtors in Florida® The newsroom website is available at



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