SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - It's no surprise that finding affordable housing is a challenge in Sarasota, but the true heroes from the community are facing the biggest struggle.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found the median hourly wage for sheriff's and police patrol officers in Florida is $27.48 per hour, or $57,160 annually, which still falls below the national average.
Elementary school teachers in Florida are dealing with an even bigger challenge, making $47,610 a year on average, which is about $8,000 less than the country's average.
U.S. News and World Report found housing costs in Sarasota are 9% above the national average, with workers making 8% less than the country's average salary.
"I think as a community we're going to have a discussion and take a good look at what the real cost of housing is, take a look at the real cost of how the wages relate to that housing cost," said Shannon Snyder, former Mayor of Sarasota and former Sarasota County Sheriff's Deputy.
Coming up on Wednesday, January 17 at 7 p.m., ABC7 News at 7 will take a look at what aspiring homeowners can do to become one step closer to living the American Dream. Viewers can watch live online.