Young Professionals Speak Out About Affordable Housing in Sarasota

46%

Currently Considering Leaving Sarasota

31%

Have Previously Considered Leaving

I wanted to take a deeper dive into the insights of area young professionals on the topic of affordable housing, so I took a video camera with me to their most recent networking event and asked around.

About the video: My name is Raymmar Tirado, and I am the founder of the Sarasota Underground, but I also serve as the Communications Chair for the Sarasota Young Professionals Group. As part of my greater vision for the region as a whole, I have committed to help amplify the voice of local area young professionals.

We will be doing that by sponsoring the production of videos like this which are intended to inform the community about issues which are important to our demographic.

Welcome to a more connected Sarasota.

According to a recent survey by the Sarasota Young Professionals Group (part of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce), 46% of area young professionals say they are currently considering leaving Sarasota because of the lack of affordable/attainable housing. Another 31% said they have recently considered leaving for the same reason.

If these statistics hold true, it means that almost 80% of the respondents have recently, or are currently considering leaving Sarasota because of the lack of affordable housing, specifically in the Downtown corridor.

Part of me thinks we need a lot more data before we can draw any real conclusions, but it is shocking to see that so many of the local young professionals feel the same way when it comes to finding an affordable place to live here in their home town.

To be completely honest, I think it’s a little hypocritical of us to complain about issues like affordable housing, when few of even show up to vote. Everywhere I turn there is a young person bitching about not having this, or not having that. Like some dope-ass-apartment Downtown was ever going to be “affordable”. Especially to some 20-something who just got out of college and has not real world experience.

In my eyes, it’s the responsibility of each young professional in Sarasota to understand that there is a place for them at the table, and that all they need to do is reach out and claim it. And if enough of us did that, we wouldn’t be sitting around bitching about not being able to afford a place to live live downtown. We would be out finding ways to change the underlying issues in our city government in order to ensure that we can change some of these things in the future.

We would be supporting the local organizations which are empowering our demographic so that we can start doing something about it instead of just complaining. We would be narrowing our focus, and organizing around a small number of specific local initiatives in order to make a real impact.

Because the truth is that real change is up to you, and up to me. So stop shouting, and start sharing. Share this article, share your thoughts, and share your frustration with others here in Sarasota. I think we will soon find out that we are not alone, and that these are problems which can be solved.

Other local press about this issue