Finding affordable housing in Southwest Florida can be difficult for those trying to make ends meet. According to the Urban Land Institute, it’s especially hard in Collier County, where the average monthly rental costs about $1500.
WINK News reporter Amanda Porter spoke to workers in Naples who say it’s challenging to get by and trying to buy a home or rent will break the bank.
Having their own little slice of paradise is too expensive for some in Collier County.
Guillermo Fumero–Galamo works in Naples. “It’s impossible, because like, everything has gone up,” Fumero-Galamo said.
Housing in Collier County can, at times, be unaffordable. Ashley is a health care worker in Naples. “They need people to work here. But we can’t afford to live here,” she said.
Ashley and others that spoke to WINK News say it’s hard to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads. “My dream is to have, like… own my own house, raise a family, have a boat, and like, you know, just making like, I don’t know, like 15 [or] 16 bucks an hour? Like, that’s impossible. You know? I could never afford that,” said Fumero-Galamo.
Many, like Fumero-Galamo, work multiple jobs but still have difficulty finding a reasonably priced home. “It’s very difficult to like, move out and find a place because even ran like a one-bedroom apartment is like $1,600, you know? So like, and then you think about you do the math, it doesn’t add up,” he said.
Bartholemew Dewitt is a young father, and he knows this struggle well. “For a while, yeah, it was a… it was definitely tough. But, you know, just continue working,” Dewitt said.
Some workers feel like reaching for their own slice of paradise is leaving them with only crumbs.
“I mean, pricing is like, just for a studio. It’s like almost $2,000 Just for a studio. It’s ridiculous. You know, you have to have a roommate. And, you know, it’s just not affordable at all,” said Ashley.
Collier County officials want to know what they can do to make housing more affordable. The Affordable Housing Advisory Committee is holding a meeting on Monday, January 10, at 8:30 a.m. This meeting is public, and you can make your voice heard. You just have to register at the door.
MORE: Information from the Urban Land Institute
These are just a handful of hardworking individuals and families in our community who struggle to find housing that is affordable in Collier County. In fact, a recent report by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) found two out of every five households were cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their monthly income on housing. Even more sobering, 61.4% of jobs in Collier pay less than $33,250 per year, while the average monthly rental cost hovers over $1,500 a month, and the average home price is more than $341,000.