Cover Image: Sunbelt Blues

Sunbelt Blues

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

*received for free from netgalley for honest review* really interesting read! as a renter trying to find a  house this was a very informative book and a lot of it echoes what is going on in our area/stories of landlords
Was this review helpful?
Sunbelt Blues focuses on the housing market and contributing factors in Central Florida. Equal parts narrative and research, this was an easy and interesting read with enough personal stories shared throughout to keep engagement high and enough research to really introduce the reader to all the factors contributing to the struggles in housing in this area.  While sharing the stories of individuals who are tenuously/temporarily homed in motels and "truly homeless" and living in the woods, Ross explores how exactly we got her - focusing on the lack of services available for those between the $25,000 income level that qualifies for government assistance in housing and the $50,000 income level that is the minimum needed for most housing available in the area. Ross also addresses the impact of the boom in vacation housing being built over housing for locals working to support the tourism economy and I found this particularly interesting. While there is no easy answer to the current dilemma in the Orlando area, Ross does explore some solutions that could ease the massive lack of affordable housing in the area through government regulations, increases in pay from the "large players" in the area, and government encouragement for developers to build housing for that key income range.
Was this review helpful?
Sunbelt Blues discusses the affordable housing crisis and its causes. The focus is in Florida but could apply to any American city. It's an interesting and thought-provoking read and how policy has failed to address housing issues. 

#SunBeltBlues #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
Sunbelt Blues by Andrew Ross is an enthralling and engrossing read with a great plot and characters! Well worth the read
Was this review helpful?
4 stars

A critical look at the affordable housing crisis and its causes, using Osceola County (Florida) as a case study. On the whole, it’s a successful and persuasive piece about the need to address the lack of available housing for the working-class market and the ways in which both the market and local, state, and national policy have failed to do so.

I do wish that it had been either a little more academic or a little more popular-investigative-journalism. At the moment, it’s floating strangely in-between, and it leaves some conclusions feeling less supported than others.
Was this review helpful?
"Sunbelt Blues" by Andrew Ross centers around the lack of unaffordable housing in the Orlando, Florida area, which ultimately leads to locals taking up residence in motels or being homeless. This book really covers a breadth of topics, some of which are specific to this area and some that are representative of the nationwide decrease in affordable housing. Disney's original investment in the community, particularly in Celebration, has petered out and been replaced by their investment in luxury vacation rental, AirBnB conversions, and the private takeover of properties with rents that are far too high for the average wages in the area. Ross spends time living in the motels along Route 192, visits people who reside in the woods, and meets with community members to get a first hand look at the literal impossibility of living a remotely decent life on low wages and in non-existent housing.
I also appreciate how Ross discusses the ecological destruction of one of the last remaining protected areas in Florida and how the state government is promoting construction over land preservation. I think that this book is an important read for understanding how we dire it is that we take action to increase affordable housing, and wages, in America.
Was this review helpful?
This book is utterly impossible to read. Some pages are not in order. Paragraphs are repeating multiple times.
Was this review helpful?