QUALITY OF LIFE FAIL: Florida has the second highest foreclosure rate in the nation. In March of 2011, 17 of the top 25 cities with the highest foreclosure rates in the nation were right here in Florida.

Florida Had The Second Highest Foreclosure Rate.. “In Florida, which has the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate, proceedings take 638 days on average.” [Times/Herald, 9/21/11]

Florida Was Only Second To California In The Number Of Foreclosure Filings. “Today, Florida's 10.7 percent unemployment rate is well above the national average of 9.1 percent. And according to RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosures nationwide, last month Florida was second only to California in the number of foreclosure filings.” [CBS News, 9/22/11]

Seventeen Of The Top 25 Cities With The Highest Foreclosure Rates As Of March Are Florida Cities. “Florida metro areas dominate the top 25 list for cities with the worst foreclosure rates — including the eight highest in the nation, according to a report released,” in August 2011. “In all, 17 of the top 25 cities with the highest foreclosure rates as of March are Florida cities, according to the Center for Housing Policy, the research arm of the Washington, D.C.-based National Housing Conference. The national report focused at times on Florida specifically because the state took such a large share of the highest end of its distressed and failed mortgage charts.” [Florida Times-Union blog, 8/16/11]

Underwater mortgages

Florida Posted The Third-Highest Rate Of Homeowners With Underwater Mortgages. “At the end of the first quarter of 2011, Florida, at 46 percent, posted the third-highest rate of homeowners who owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth.” [Florida Times-Union, 6/10/11]

A Decade Ago, Most People Probably Did Not Know What “Underwater Mortgages” Were. “A decade ago, many people probably did not even know what the term ‘underwater’ meant in reference to a mortgage.” [Kingcade & Garcia, P.A blog posting, 3/23/11]

Poverty

Florida’s Poverty Rate Is The Highest Its Been In More Than A Decade. “More than one in six Floridians are living poverty — the highest it has been in more than a decade, according to Census figures released” in September 2011. [Herald/Times, 9/13/11]

Florida Experienced A Continually Steady Climb In The Poverty Rate Over Recent Years. “Sixteen percent of Floridians were below the poverty level in 2010, up from 14.6 percent in 2009 reflecting a continuation of a steady climb in recent years. Florida’s 2010 rate is the highest it has been since 1995 when it was 16.2 percent.” [Herald/Times, 9/13/11]

Florida’s Poverty Rate Is Above The Nation’s Official Poverty Rate. “Florida’s poverty rate was slightly above the nation’s official poverty rate of 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009 and the third consecutive annual increase, according to the Census bureau. That rate was the highest since 1993 but was 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available, according to the Census bureau.” [Herald/Times, 9/13/11]

1999: Florida’s Poverty Rate Was 12.5 Percent. In 1999, nearly 2 million Floridians lived below the poverty line, or 12.5 percent of the state’s population. [U.S. Census, “Poverty: 1999,” 5/2003]

From 2007 To 2010, Florida Saw The Steepest Rise In The Nation Of The Cost Of Hunger. “America's ‘hunger bill’ cost the nation $167.5 billion according to new research…a tab that doesn't even include food stamps and other federal nutrition programs. Instead, it's the cost of hunger-related illness, lost economic productivity, charities that feed the poor and the consequences of hungry children falling behind in the classroom. It is a bill so big, it costs everyone. … While every state in the nation saw an increase in the cost of hunger from 2007 to 2010, the three-year rise was steepest in Florida, where it increased nearly 62 percent to $11.7 billion, according to the study from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for American Progress and Brandeis University. That rise was substantially greater than the second-hardest-hit state, California, where the cost rose 43 percent. The prime culprits, the authors said, were the high number of foreclosures and stubborn unemployment rates. The expenses were calculated using the most conservative estimates, the authors said.” [Orlando Sentinel, 10/5/11]

Rick Scott Proposed Eliminating The State Office Of Homelessness While The Republican-Led Legislature’s Budget Cuts “Unconscionably Spread Much Of The Pain On Programs That Aid The Poor.” Florida Today opined: “In tackling a $3.8 billion budget hole this year, lawmakers in Tallahassee unconscionably spread much of the pain on programs that aid the poor. Gov. Rick Scott proposed eliminating the state Office of Homelessness at the Department of Children and Families - and $7 million for agencies that help the homeless. The idea appears to have died a justified death, but it's unclear what state spending Scott may veto[.]" [Editorial, Florida Today, 5/25/11]