Francoise Cham

Title

Francoise Cham

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Description

Oral history interview of Francois Cham by Juan Vasquez

In this interview, Francoise Cham describes her experience with Miami’s wealth gap as a resident and housing advocate with Catalyst Miami and other organizations. She speaks of the contrasts between Miami’s paradise-like landscapes and luxury high-rises and the city’s housing affordability crisis. She discusses how young people and professionals like teachers or nurses cannot afford to buy a home in Miami. From her personal experience, she discusses how extreme spikes in insurance premiums have brought her financial hardships and had detrimental effects on her experience with homeownership. She also discusses the dangers of unchecked gentrification, which leads to displacement of long-term residents and negative change to the character of the neighborhood. Specifically, she talks about unrestricted commerce like Airbnbs taking up her neighborhood, and how they can leave the place in bad condition and make it feel less like a neighborhood and more like a shopping center. Much of her interview focuses on solutions. For example, Francoise states that change is made on the policy level, and mentions the need for people to vote in local elections; she says that people that want change need to actively seek change. She also notes that many of the problems we face have simple solutions. But these solutions are too often obstructed by corruption and mismanagement of funds.

Publication Date

2022

City

Miami

Keywords

Florida International University, Miami, Wealth Gap, Housing, Homeownership, Affordable Housing, Advocacy, Activism, Catalyst Miami, Education, Policies, Gentrification

Disciplines

Economic Policy | Public Policy | Social Justice

Comments

Length: 38:25 minutes

Biography:

Ms.Cham was born in 1962 in Port au Prince, Haiti. She immigrated to the United States in 1963. After living in New York for over a decade, she moved to Miami in 1974. After renting, her parents managed to buy a home in Village Green, which they then passed to Ms.Cham. She now lives there with her 17-year-old daughter. Francoise’s civic work began in 2009 when she took advocacy classes with Catalyst Miami. Since then, she has been advocating for affordable housing, Medicaid expansion, climate justice and education. She is a member of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Parent Advisors Council (PAC), Catalyst Miami, and Breakthrough Miami. She has traveled to Tallahassee for the annual Miami-DADE County Days at the state capital to advocate on behalf of low-income families.

Francoise Cham

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