Is affordable housing in Collier County closer to reality?

We all know someone who is struggling to pay rent. But a solution to the affordable housing crisis is closer to reality in Collier County and it starts with developers.

Maurice Davis moved to Naples recently and is struggling to make ends meet. “I’m a vet and I can’t afford to live here and I fought for my country,” he said. “I have to live with four other people because I can’t afford to live by myself.”

Davis is not the only one. Beth Wunstel said his son is 28-years-old and still lives with him due to the cost of renting or buying a place to call home.

That is why Collier County commissioners created the Local Housing Fund. Right now, it has $164,000 in the fund it has accumulated within the past year.

The funds serve as an incentive for developers to create more affordable options. The plan is to allocate the money for housing anyone can afford. But residents, including Wunstel, question the term “affordable.”

“There’s no room for that here,” Wunstel said. “They are expanding having gated communities all over the place. There’s no way they are going to make it affordable housing.”

But others, like Mark Pitts, said they hope for the best.

“That is a great idea,” Pitts said. “The only way some people are going to be able to afford a house is by getting the help, maybe not from their parents, but from the county.”

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Michael Mora
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