Naples rent grew more than any other city in 2021

Published: February 17, 2022 5:26 PM EST
Updated: February 17, 2022 5:48 PM EST

A Southwest Florida city lands at the top of a list, but it is not a good one to be on. Naples had the highest percentage of rent growth in the nation last year.

The average rent in Naples is $1,986, up 38% from 2020.

The skyrocketing rent is forcing some people to move, or worse, become homeless.

Cris Thomas lives in The Point at Naples apartments. “I say a two-bedroom $2,400 like, that’s ridiculous. Like I still can’t grasp that concept. Like how can you really think people going to pay that.”

Many people can’t pay that, so, just like Thomas, they don’t have any other options except to move.

“I’ve been looking at other places like Orlando and Tampa. They seem like cheap over there,” said Thomas.

The workforce is relocating because affordable housing is hard to find.

Joe Trachtenberg, Chairman of the Collier County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, said, “we’re going to continue to lose essential workers. And the more workers we lose, the more the quality of life for the rest of us in Naples, and in Collier County, your county, will deteriorate.”

Those who can’t pick up everything and move are turning to St. Matthew’s House.

“We have people coming into our shelter, or waitlist is now over 100 people. And that that’s double what it had been. So these are people that are being forced out of apartments and homes because of these rising rents and rising costs,” said St. Matthew’s House CEO Steve Brooder.

It is the first time being homeless for 25% of that waitlist.

What are city and county officials doing? Trachtenberg said, “I am unaware of anything that the City of Naples is doing currently.”

“The action that the county has needed to take has been delayed. Now that it seems to be, there’s some movement that is positive. But it’s behind right now or behind the curve. And now we have to act,” said Brooder.

Thomas said, “they don’t care about us. Nobody cares about us.”

Collier County Commissioners will talk about affordable housing during their meeting on Feb. 22.