Collier County Community and Human Services Division – Housing Operations

Firefighters. Police officers. Teachers. Government employees. Service workers. Nurses. Medical Assistants.

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These icons above represent 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 2021 report by the University of Florida Shimberg Center for Housing Studies and The Bureau of Economic and Business Research found 49,399 households in Collier County are cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their monthly income on housing. Of those local, cost-burdened households, 29,059 or 59%, are considered severely cost-burdened which means they spend more than 50% of their income on housing expenses.

52749 people commute to work every day from outside of collier county. almost 30% are coming from east coast counties.According to the 2022 Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Occupational Employment Statistics and Wages, 35% of the jobs in Collier County pay less than $35,000 per year with 58% paying less than $45,000 per year. Someone earning a $45,000 yearly salary should be able to afford a housing payment of $1,125 per month. However, 2023 reports have captured the following rent and home sales data:

  • the median rent in Collier County is $2,230
  • market rent is $3,922 and
  • the median home sales price in Collier County is $571,500 (Single Family Homes- $765,000, Condos- $465,000)

Sources: University of Florida Shimberg Center for Housing Studies, Zillow Research, and Apartment List Methodology, 2023, and NABOR Market Report, October 2023

You may find this data sobering, and it’s no wonder: Pre-COVID, more than 61% of the jobs in Collier County paid less than $33,250 per year, while the average monthly rental cost was averaging more than $1,500 a month, and the average home price started around $341,000.

“It is the opinion of the panel that Collier County absolutely has a housing affordability problem,” according to the Urban Land Institute (ULI) report, which can be found here.

A 2023 FGCU Lutgert College of Business Regional Economic Research Institute and Lightcast report found that 52,749 people commute to work every day from outside of Collier County. Almost 30%,or more than 15,800, of these commuters are coming from east coast counties. These commuters represent employees who work in Collier but live in Lee, Charlotte or other counties in which they spend their wages on rent, taxes, mortgages, groceries, gas and other necessities. Many public-sector employees and large segments of the private sector simply cannot afford to live in Collier County. Their daily commutes from neighboring communities add to traffic congestion and diminish quality of life and active citizen participation.

Providing access to affordable housing closer to jobs reduces commute times and costs, increases quality of life and assists in supporting a healthy local economy. That is why the county is working to address the issue in a variety of ways, including the creation of special incentives for developers to provide housing at affordable prices in their plans and offering programs to assist prospective homebuyers and renters. Current examples of communities with housing affordability options include Allura, Bristol Pines, and Dockside among others.

Collier County’s Community and Human Services Division offers a wide range of resources for anyone interested in the topic of affordable housing, seeking it or providing it. We are proud to support our community, families and all individuals looking for the perfect place to call home.

Here are some policy-based decisions that are garnering positive results in our communities:

  • In 2017, Collier County approved the Collier County Community Housing Plan which contained over 35 individual actions that have been adopted to improve Housing Affordability
    Source: Community Housing Plan, 2017
  • Since 2018, 3,891 NEW affordable units have been approved by the Collier County Board of County Commissioners to be built with 2,108 of those located in the Urban Area and 1,783 allocated for the rural areas and Immokalee
    Source: Collier County Growth Management & Community Development Department, Commitment Tracking System, November 2023
  • The Collier County Board of County Commissioners dedicated the 5-acre, county-owned, Bembridge Planned Unit Development (PUD) site on Santa Barbara Boulevard for affordable housing and contracted to have 82 affordable family rental units built
    Source: Harmony Apartments- projected opening December 2023
  • The Board purchased and dedicated 22 acres of the Golden Gate Golf Course property for affordable housing and contracted for 252 affordable rental apartments and 120 affordable senior housing units to be built