FORT MYERS, Fla.- It may be a sign of the times. The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers is pushing ahead with plans for an assisted living facility for low-income seniors. The authority is seeking a grant and a loan for the building.
"We have done some really good projects and we are proud of them. But this would be the crown jewel," said Marcus Goodson, Executive Director of the Housing Agency.
"We know that families have to take in Grandma or Grand-pop, and move a child out of the back bedroom. That is not an ideal living arrangement. The family does not know the dietary or health needs of the elderly relative. They don't know the activity level of the senior. But they cannot afford to pay maybe $5,000 to $7,000 a month for assisted living. We know from our own centers, the older folks are worried because they maybe cannot take care of themselves, but they don't have anywhere else to go. That is the type of situation we want to solve," said Goodson.
He wants to build on 10 acres on Michigan ave., near Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The housing authority won a show of local support, when the Ft. Myers City Council okayed $50,000 for the project. But it will cost a total of $18 to $20 million dollars. The authority is asking for money from a grant program, and for a low-interest loan from the Lee County Housing Finance Authority. Goodson said, if the money comes together, they could break ground in early 2015. He hopes the place would be ready for patients by the end of 2015, although he admits, that time-table is not set in stone, and can easily be pushed back.