Income inequality has increased significantly in Orlando during the past decade, to the point that rich people make 11 times as much as poor people, according to a new study from Apartment List
shows the wealth gap in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area jumped by 23 percent from 2008 to 2017. Back in 2008, the highest-earning households in the 90th percentile earned 9.2 times more than lower-income households at the 10th percentile. In 2017, the gap between rich households and poor households in Orlando was a ratio of 11.4.
But while incomes are growing faster for the wealthy, they're also paying less for housing.
The Apartment List study found that housing costs in the Orlando metro for people earning more than the national median income have actually decreased
by 10 percent in the past decade. Meanwhile, housing costs for people who make less than the median income have gone up by 1 percent in the same time frame.
"The cost of putting a roof over one's head is increasingly driving an even bigger gap between the haves and have-nots," says Sania Tran, a content manager at Apartment List.
Graphic via Apartment List
While lower-income workers made 74 percent less than the median income, they still paid comparable rents, according to the study.
Part of the problem in Orlando is that we currently have the most severe affordable housing shortage
in the nation. The Orlando metro area currently has only 13 affordable and available rental homes
for every 100 extremely low-income renter households, according to a 2019 report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
The same study found that an overwhelming majority
of low-income households in Florida – the people living off the paltry $8.46 we call a minimum wage – are spending half their income on rent or mortgage rather than basic necessities.
"Growing housing disparities can also contribute to local income inequality," the Apartment List study
says. "If rising housing costs prevent those at the bottom of the income distribution from having capital to invest, relocate, or take risks, then moving up the income ladder becomes challenging. At the other end of the spectrum, falling mortgage rates can do the opposite for those already well off."
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