A plan to relocate Miami’s homeless population to a small island is set to be paused after an outcry from both residents and local officials.
The “transition zone” that was looking at building 100 tiny homes on the northeastern end of the Virginia Key has now been put on ice for at least six months, according to the Miami Herald.
That’s after the news of the proposed site drew the ire of cyclists, parkgoers, business operators and wealthy residents from Fisher Island who live across the water.
“You’re taking the chronically homeless, shelter resistant population, bringing them to an isolated area, removing them from everything they know, providing only mobile services and pretty much isolating them on an island two miles from the nearest roadway,” the owner of an outdoor center told WSVN.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told the paper that a transitional site that was away from basic services could exacerbate the area’s homeless problem, which now had more than 1,500 people living on the streets.
But Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Commissioner Joe Carollo, who sponsored the plan, want to see more from their county partners.
In particular, the city wants the county to increase the number of shelter beds, find alternative sites for temporary housing facilities and stop letting homeless people out of jail within Miami city limits.
“We feel that it’s an unfair burden for the city to have to take care of all the homeless without more help from Miami-Dade County,” Mr. Suarez said during a Monday news conference.
The plan had originally passed on July 28. The city will hold a vote in September to formally pause the plan.