The program surveyed its membership and asked how much it can afford to pay to live in Sarasota.
About half of a group of young professionals surveyed recently are thinking of leaving Sarasota – because it doesn’t have enough affordable housing.
Young Professionals Group (YPG), a networking and advocacy organization run by the Greater Sarasota Area Chamber of Commerce, comprises approximately 450 young professionals in the Sarasota area. YPG surveyed its members about housing and, of the 100 that responded, almost half said they are considering leaving the area.
According to Mimi Cirbusova, coordinator for YPG at the chamber, the survey is an initial step in a series of surveys on housing the group would like to produce.
“It is a good snapshot of 21 to 40 year-olds and what their housing needs are,” she said.
More than half of the respondents, 62%, said they need one- to two-bedroom apartments that cost less than $1,000 per month.
Nearly half, 46%, said they were thinking of leaving Sarasota now, and the majority of those respondents were the same people who indicated they needed housing that costs less than $1,000 per month.
“That indicates to me those are individuals who are service workers or people in entry level positions,” said Cirbusova.
Cirbusova said she believes the survey helps vindicate concerns about Sarasota’s aging population and its difficulty retaining young professionals. Data released by Sarasota County's Planning and Development Services in September highlighted those difficulties as well.
“When members choose not to renew,” Cirbusova said, “I reach out to them and often their response is ‘I moved out of the area.’ That is something we’re concerned about.”
In upcoming surveys, the group will gather similar data about the Rosemary District, and also try to determine if there is a correlation between where people choose to live, in Sarasota, and their income.