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More and more people are finding themselves living paycheck to paycheck in the greater Tampa Bay region. In some places, rent has doubled. The cost of everyday goods — like gas and groceries — keeps creeping up. All the while, wages lag behind and the affordable housing crisis looms. Amid cost-of-living increases, WUSF is focused on documenting how people are making ends meet.

Are you living paycheck to paycheck in the greater Tampa Bay region?

A man with a cell phone in his hand prepares to put gas in his full-size truck.
Rogelio V. Solis
/
AP
A customer prepares to pump diesel fuel at a Sam's Club. The costs of gas has reached record highs as inflation soars across the nation.

More and more people in the greater Tampa Bay region are finding it harder to make ends meet. Rent is rising. Wages are stagnant. And the cost of everyday items — like gas and groceries — keeps creeping up.

In 2020, the United Way of Florida released data that showed 13 percent of Floridians fell below the federal threshold for poverty and another third of residents were right on the edge.

There is a vulnerable middle-ground in the greater Tampa Bay region that is becoming more and more common – people who may have jobs and a place to live but are struggling to afford everyday expenses.

Several factors are at play: rising rent, stagnant wages, inflation rates, food and housing costs, illegal evictions, job insecurity and an influx of people who moved to Florida amid the pandemic.

If you're having trouble making ends meet, WUSF wants to hear from you.

  • How are you struggling to pay your bills right now? 
  • What percentage of your monthly income do you spend on rent or your mortgage?
  • Have your fixed expenses gone up but your wages stayed the same? 

Fill out the form below to start a conversation with WUSF reporter/ Report for America corps member Gabriella Paul, who is focused on telling the stories of people living paycheck to paycheck in the greater Tampa Bay region.

I tell stories about living paycheck to paycheck for public radio at WUSF News. I’m also a corps member of Report For America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms.