During the Fall 2016 semester, FIU students collaborated with the South Florida Regional Planning Council to produce a multifaceted assessment of Liberty City’s economic development.

FIU’s Liberty City Economic Development and Urban Revitalization Project Presentations were held on Tuesday, November 29th at 6:30-8:30pm, at the Council office in Hollywood. The Council was pleased to partner with Florida International University’s Department of Public Administration to help guide class research projects for a graduate course on economic development. The students’ class projects, found below, are focused on Education; Business & Economy; Transportation & Amenities; Health & Quality of Life; Civic Engagement; and Housing & Land Use in Liberty City.

The students presented unique recommendations for community and economic revitalization based upon current data and academic research. The students used a range of tools to analyze and interpret relevant community indicators and conducted interviews with the community representatives. One of these tools is the Southeast Florida DataCommon.

Link to FIU’s Department of Public Administration

Key Findings

Economic Opportunity

      • Mostly small businesses involved in services and retail
      • Majority employment in the education, food service, and retail industries
      • Opportunity: financial infrastructure improvement, including banks and small business microloans
      • Opportunity: Location: 1-95, MIA International, Port Miami all nearby
      • Opportunity: 30+ commercial spaces for sale, more for lease, cheaper rates relative to surrounding areas

Housing Opportunity

      • Aging housing stock – majority was built before 1960
      • Nearly 20% of the housing stock is vacant
      • 68% of occupied housing is rented, 32% owner-occupied
      • High housing cost burden in the area
      • Opportunity: provide incentives to landlords to maintain and upgrade old housing
      • Opportunity: rehabilitate public housing
      • Opportunity: increase job prospects to encourage redevelopment and reduction in vacant space

Education Opportunity

  • 25% of the population is between 5-19 years old
  • Only 28% continue their education past high school; 28% also hold less than a high school diploma
  • Graduation rates steadily on the rise, however preparedness indicators (such as the SAT) are on the decline
  • Opportunity: increased SAT preparation measures and alternative education paths
  • Opportunity: continue investments into adult education programs and job training
  • Opportunity: actively remain in contact with students that drop out and those that graduate to facilitate further training, alternative education, and job placement