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Nearly half of Floridians struggle to pay bills. Survey says inflation is to blame

The survey finds 48% of Floridians said inflation impacts their ability to pay bills. Nearly a quarter said they can't keep up with rent or mortgage.

TAMPA, Fla. — Nearly half of Floridians (48%) said inflation is making it tougher to pay the bills, according to a new survey from USF.

Already, 24% said they're having a tough time keeping up with rent or mortgage payments in the past year.

USF researchers said the statewide survey consisted of 600 Floridians that were representative of the population. Their goal was to address higher education, the housing market, and inflation in the state. 

At least 1 in 3 Floridians also said their household income does not support the cost of renting or buying a home in the state. 

Neighbors like Aaron Dietrich of St. Petersburg understand the struggle. 

"I'm not proud to be on the news, talking about the fact that I struggle as a grown man to maintain housing, but I think that's where it's at," Dietrich said.

For the past few weeks, Dietrich has had to rely on his friends' couch for housing. It's his last chance at a life in the city he's loved for 22 years.

His friends' leases are up in two months and Aaron said he is concerned he could be living on the streets or displaced from the community he's lived in.

Dietrich has been organizing for the People's Council of St. Petersburg. The group has been fighting for better housing policies.

But now, Dietrich has a new fight of his own.

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"I'm going to fight to stay here, and we're going to work together with our families, our friends, to do whatever we have to do to survive," Dietrich said. 

Dietrich said he's finding solace knowing he's not alone in his situation. He said he's grateful for his friend's ability to help and hopes he won't have to leave the people he's built connections with.

In terms of buying a home, 36% of survey respondents said they're putting off buying a home due to the hot market.

Inflation has reached a four-decade high in the nation. The survey found 77% of Floridians said inflation has impacted their grocery spending.  

To read the full survey results, visit this link

RELATED: Families left feeling hopeless as affordable housing issues continue


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