FYI Miami: August 6, 2020
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MIAMI EVICTION PREVENTION: Applications for the City of Miami’s Eviction Prevention Program has begun, running through Aug. 14. The program could provide up to $3,500 toward rental arrears of qualifying city households. Eligible households must be at 80% area median income or below and have felt job loss or income reduction after March 1 because of Covid-19. The assistance will go directly to the landlord. Landlords can opt out of the program. Forms are at miamigov.com/residents/housing.
FORECLOSURES PUT OFF: Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended until Sept. 1 an order that seeks to help prevent foreclosures and evictions amid job losses and financial problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The executive order makes clear that it is only supposed to apply to people who are “adversely affected” economically by the pandemic and that they will ultimately have to pay amounts owed on mortgages or in rent.
CUTTING PHONE CORDS: Floridians continue to drop traditional wireline phone service. The Florida Public Service Commission reports a 15.7% drop in wireline service in 2019 and 51%, or nearly 1.7 million lines, over the past five years. Florida had an estimated 21.8 million wireless phone subscriptions, roughly equivalent to a cell phone for every resident. Many residents and businesses also have shifted to internet-based calling technology, or VOIP, for phone service. The decline in residential wirelines has been particularly steep, going from about 1.4 million in 2015 to 600,000 in 2019. Wirelines peaked at about 12 million two decades ago, compared to 1.6 million in 2019, according to the report. Meanwhile, wireless-only households increased to 60.9% in 2018, the latest data available.
CHARGING AHEAD: Of 27 state-awarded contracts to set up 34 fast-charging stations for light-duty zero emission vehicles – electric/plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, and SUVs) to be completed utilizing $8.6 million from a legal settlement with Volkswagen – the closest to Miami-Dade will be in Broward County. Six charging stations granted to applicant EVgo will be off Interstate 95 in Hollywood at 3800 Oakwood Blvd, and two charging stations will be at the 7-Eleven on 4490 Weston Road in Davie next to Interstate 75.
SLIGHT REBRAND: Formerly Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the Miami-based company will now be Royal Caribbean Group. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain said in a press release that the name was simpler, fresher and more modern and “sounds like a parent company name, reflective of our growth and evolution since we last updated our identity more than 20 years ago.”