In Miami’s public housing, hundreds of units lack air-conditioning. That’s changing

Date Published: 
December 5th, 2022

From the Miami Herald:

Julio Banegas, 86, spent the Miami summer relying on the breeze to stay cool in a second-floor apartment because his landlord, the federal government, rented the unit without air-conditioning.

“It got tremendously hot,” Banegas said in Spanish on Monday. “I used lots of fans.”

More than 1,000 apartments and houses lack air-conditioning in Miami-Dade County’s public-housing system, the legacy of a federal policy that doesn’t require cooling systems even in the Sun Belt. In recent weeks, Miami-Dade’s government began spending $2.3 million to install air conditioners in about 1,700 federal public housing units that are managed by the county.

“It should be a right, not an amenity,” Morris Copeland, the county administrator overseeing housing, said during a press conference Monday announcing the initiative.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava described the effort as a plan to bridge the gap between the aging set of public housing complexes without air-conditioning to the new generation of projects where Miami-Dade has been requiring developers install air conditioners since 2001.


Michael Liu, the county’s housing director, said he expects all of the county’s new air conditioners to be installed within 90 days. He said that would leave about 100 units lacking air-conditioning out of the more than 8,000 public-housing units Miami-Dade manages for the federal government.

Those 100 units are in complexes being redeveloped, and Liu said Miami-Dade can help residents in those homes get temporary air-conditioning units before the new buildings are finished.

Read the Miami Herald's article "In Miami’s public housing, hundreds of units lack air-conditioning. That’s changing," featuring the Miami-Dade Public Housing & Community Development Department.

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