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Collier County may expand incoming housing with 114 multi-family units

Collier County leaders will discuss expanding its proposed housing projects with over 100 more multi-family units, but some say that the expansion could hurt the community. Some people are upset because they believe the county needs to focus on bringing in more affordable housing, since many are struggling to make ends meet, but county leaders believe they are keeping up with population growth by setting aside land for another 114 multi-family units.

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Letters to the editor for Wednesday, August 3, 2022

With little fanfare and deep respect for a plea from Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, our Collier County commissioners last month unceremoniously increased our deputies’ pay by an unplanned $4 million. The reason given — these dedicated men and women can’t afford to pay their rents. Instead of investing $4 million into sustainable affordable housing, this money will flow directly into the hands of greedy landlords, taking full advantage of the barrel over which they hold our county leadership.

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More affordable housing options could be coming to Collier County

A big part of unincorporated Collier County may get a bunch of new multifamily dwelling units. Some of these properties will include affordable housing options. Collier County Housing, Grant Development and Operations Manager, Jacob LaRow said the county continues to grow and these options are a way to keep families living within the community. “They’ve identified a number of entities – the county and public schools – in terms of retention and recruitment,” LaRow said. “They’re finding difficulty in retaining key employees so they’ve identified that this is a need.”

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Guest opinion: What is affordable housing?

When we use the term “affordable housing” are we all speaking the same language? Do we mean workforce housing? Essential worker housing? Or something else? Has the term “affordable housing” become a pejorative, eliciting a vision of decaying housing projects our misguided cities built decades ago, with inadequate reserves for maintenance?

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Ordinance up for vote by Naples City Council could make changes to SWFL’s affordable housing issue

In just a few hours, Naples City Council will vote on a new rule that they hope will help people who are struggling to find affordable housing. It would require landlords to give tenants 60 days written notice before they raise rent more than 5%. Rent for living at places like brand-new apartments being built right now. One of those affordable housing projects currently underway in Naples is called ‘The Harmony’ and it broke ground in March. It’s one of three affordable housing projects in East Naples.

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Affordable housing crisis looking for help from Collier County officials

People struggling financially in Southwest Florida may see help from a project in the works to assist with the affordable housing crisis. Collier County Commissioners and the city of Naples Council discussed the issue on Tuesday. They know that too many people in Collier County and in the city are struggling to make ends meet. While officials keep pushing for more assistance programs and buying time until more buildings can go up.

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Promoting affordable housing in Collier County

Collier County officials will meet to discuss creating affordable housing for teachers, nurses, firefighters and government employees at a meeting Wednesday morning. They’re looking at bringing hundreds of new units to the area. It’s no question that finding affordable housing these days is a challenge: People who work in Collier County often commute more than 30 minutes one way to reach their jobs because housing costs are so high.

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Grant Helps Legal Aid Service of Collier County Assist At-Risk Tenants

Legal Aid Service of Collier County received a $40,000 grant from the Collier Community Foundation to assist in eviction diversion and homeless prevention efforts. “Legal Aid always places a high priority on using our lawyers to preserve the safety, health, and minimum economic security of our clients in need, which includes securing safe shelter and the ability to meet other basic needs,” said Carol O’Callaghan, deputy executive director of Legal Aid Service of Collier County.

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County commissioners set to discuss affordable housing ordinance

The ongoing effort to ease housing costs continues in Southwest Florida. Collier County Board of Commissioners are set to discuss a few different ways to help people renting or looking to buy a home this morning. There are three main topics on the table today. One of them we’ve been reporting on for about a month. That’s the ordinance that would require more advanced notification when rent is being increased.

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Naples closer to passing ordinance requiring 60-day notice of rental price increases

The City of Naples is trying to require landlords to give more notice of high rental price increases. The City Council passed the first reading of the ordinance that would require landlords to give tenants a 60-day notice if the rent will increase more than 5 percent.

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Collier County commissioners reject law requiring landlord rent increase notice

The debate was repeatedly sidetracked by discussions about the affordable housing crisis as a whole and the county’s role in having millions of…

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Ordinance doesn’t pass that could help rising rent prices in Collier County

Renters in Collier County are looking for changes with rising rent prices. Renters are asking for a 60-day notice from landlords if they’re raising the rent by 5% or more. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen as of right now. Rising rents, little notice, and no place affordable to move are what Collier County residents say as they continue their fight against the housing crisis.

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Collier County Officials Will Vote on Measures To Relieve Housing Crisis – Restrictions for Landlords Increasing Rents?

The housing crisis currently facing Florida is well-publicized, and politicians across the state are being asked to step up to help those in need. Nikki Fried – Democratic challenger for the gubernatorial election has gone on record to state that “Floridians can’t afford Florida anymore”.

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Homeless counts in Southwest Florida: Mixed findings but lack of affordable housing is grim

New data on homelessness shows a decline in Collier County and a jump in Lee County but experts in both communities caution the overall outlook is troubling due to dramatic rent increases hitting the most vulnerable. “Point in time” homeless counts are done annually over one or two days in late January to get a snapshot of the homeless numbers.

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Panel discussion on affordable housing scheduled for May 16

Naples Chamber, Marco Island Chamber, Collier Visitor Bureau and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association will host a panel discussion with local experts and legislators on affordable housing from 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 16 at Hilton Naples, 5111 Tamiami Trail N. Speakers include Michael Puchalla, executive director of Collier County Community Land Trust; Jacob LaRow, manager of Housing Grant & Development and Operations; Michael Dalby, president and CEO of The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce; and Lisa Lefkow, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Collier County.

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Companies exploring ways to help employees afford housing in SWFL

If you are looking for a cheap apartment with a great view in Southwest Florida, good luck. Fort Myers is the second most overpriced rental market in the country, and businesses are having trouble keeping employees because of that high cost of living. As most people know firsthand, salaries here aren’t always matched up with the cost of living. Some companies can raise wages, but not enough to make an affordable living in Southwest Florida.

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Affordable housing shortage has long been a problem in Southwest Florida. Can we fix it?

Missing $2.5B for affordable housing. The general government indifference on the topic appears to be melting away.

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Collier officials on the fence over proposed rent increase notification law

Collier commissioners are on the fence over a proposed ordinance meant to give tenants a timely heads up before a rent increase. The ordinance would require landlords give tenants a 60-day notice if their rent will increase more than 5%. Commissioner Burt Saunders asked the board at its April 15 meeting to consider adopting the new law.

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Collier rent increases would require 60-day notice under proposed law

Affordable housing activist Elizabeth Radi said she believes the ordinance is the least the county can do to help those struggling to make ends meet.

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Rental assistance program in Collier risks losing millions in unspent funds

Collier County has until September to spend millions of federal dollars to assist households that are unable to pay rent or utilities. Collier has spent $5 million out of $11 million it received, and county commissioners are urging those in need to apply as soon as possible for a share of the remaining $6 million.

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Affordable housing shortage has long been a problem in Southwest Florida. Can we fix it?

Missing $2.5B for affordable housing. The general government indifference on the topic appears to be melting away.

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Rental assistance available for residents of Collier County

If you are behind on rent or utilities and it’s related to the pandemic, there’s money to help. A program is offering millions of dollars to renters in Collier County. “I’m hoping that they won’t look at this as a disgrace but more as an assistance,” said Penny Taylor, the District 4 County Commissioner. Collier County’s Community and Human Services Division says the funds must be used by September 30th.

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Leaders in Collier County want landlords to give more notice before raising rent

Landlords are raising the rent on tenants, often with little notice. Leaders in Collier County want to change that by giving people a 60-day notice for rent increases. If the commissioners give their OK, the 60-day notice will only be for renters in the county, not renters in Naples or Marco Island.  “It sends a message and I think it sends the right message that we want to, at least be fair to tenants,” said Collier County Commissioner Burt l. Saunders.

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Florida is the least affordable place to live in the U.S.

Sally Starkey thought moving from Chicago to Florida would be easy. The 33-year-old publicist moved to Naples, Florida, when her husband got a nearby job. Familiar with the area from friends and family who vacationed there, the couple was excited to move, she said. “We thought we would have no problem finding a place to live,” Starkey said.

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Support needed for affordable housing

Currently 40,000 folks who work in Collier County and Naples can’t afford to live here. If you get on any road heading north or east after 3 p.m., you’ll see them struggling in traffic to get home. Same thing every morning. Rents are rising to unseen levels, and our commuting workforce (our nurses, policemen, waiters, etc.) will only grow, pushing them farther away from their homes.

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Collier County holding affordable housing meeting

Relief might be coming to residents in Florida, as Collier County looks to help their community with affordable housing. It’s been a big problem for over 10 years. And there’s a few things you need to know that CHS will be discussing Thursday. This new plan was delivered by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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3 workforce/affordable housing projects break ground in East Naples area

Three housing projects breaking ground Thursday in the East Naples area are designed for local residents on a tight household budget. The Harmony on Santa Barbara will be a workforce housing development, while Allegro and Cadenza at Hacienda Lakes will be affordable senior housing on Rattlesnake Hammock Road east of Collier Boulevard.

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Grant to Legal Aid Assists Local Residents in Need

Legal Aid Service of Collier County (‘LASCC’) is pleased to announce the impact of a $96,851 grant it received from the Community Foundation of Collier County’s Disaster Assistance Fund. The grant proceeds were used to support the capacity of LASCC’s Housing, Consumer Law, Veterans, Grey Light Elder Law, and Disaster Relief Unit (‘DAF Project’) to provide vital free legal services needed to meet the civil legal needs of Collier County residents impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Collier County expanding rent and utility assistance program

Collier County has allocated more than $7 million of the American Rescue Plan Act to help with housing affordability. This money is going to help residents with rent, mortgage, and utilities. To qualify for assistance, you’ll need proof of Collier County residency, proof that COVID-19 caused financial strain, and proof that your income is between 81% and 140% area median income AMI. Each applicant can relieve up to $25,000, and that money will be paid directly to your landlord, mortgage company, or utility company.

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Legal Aid Service of Collier County puts disaster assistance grant to work

Legal Aid Service of Collier County is using a $96,851 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County’s Disaster Assistance Fund to support its housing, consumer law, veterans, elder law, and disaster relief efforts.

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Collier County seniors feeling the effects of the affordable housing crisis

The astronomically high rent prices are forcing seniors are out of their homes. Collier County had the highest rent price increase in the country, and now it’s taking a toll on some of our most vulnerable neighbors. They see themselves as the forgotten population in the affordable housing crisis. Seniors say they have aged out of the workforce and now can’t afford to live in Collier County.

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County Commissioners Take on Fight for Affordable Housing

Commissioners were confronted with sobering statistics and stories on Collier County’s Housing Crisis. And it wasn’t just the public comments from concerned citizens trying to find housing. NCH, Naples Area Board of Realtors, Collier Public Schools, the Salvation Army, the League of Women Voters and more took turns speaking to the problems the county is, and will be, facing if the housing problem isn’t addressed.

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Naples city council votes to limit housing density downtown

The Naples City Council tackled two of the biggest issues impacting residents at Wednesday’s meeting. The city council debated changing the rules that limit how many residential units developers can put in one space. Part of the debate centered around allowing developers to exceed that limit if the units qualify for affordable housing.

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Collier commissioners pass affordable housing measures

NAPLES, Fla. — Collier County is working to provide more help to working class people who say they just can’t afford to live there any more. At Tuesday’s meeting, the Collier County commissioners voted to provide more money for the local housing trust fund. The exact amount is still being determined.

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Collier commissioners to fight pricey housing issues by encouraging more options

Collier County commissioners have taken crucial steps toward dealing with a worsening affordable housing crisis. At a board meeting Tuesday, they went beyond the actions recommended by county staff, recognizing and stressing the urgency of the situation. “We’re here to take action,” said Commissioner Rick LoCastro. Other commissioners agreed.

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Residents in Collier County call on commissioners to fix the affordable housing crisis

People of all backgrounds voiced their concerns on Tuesday about the out-of-control rents in Collier County. Commissioners are looking for a way to make Collier County a place where people can afford to live and work. Nurses in their scrubs, young professionals in their work clothes, human resource managers from Collier County schools, local companies, and even the salvation army all joined together to deliver a single message; fix the affordable housing crisis.

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Collier County Residents Call on Commissioners to Resolve Affordable Housing Crisis

On Tuesday, people of all backgrounds expressed concern about the unmanageable rent in Collier County. Commissioners are looking for ways to make Collier County a place where people can live and work. Scrub nurses, young professionals in work clothes, personnel managers at schools in Collier County, local businesses, and even the Salvation Army all came together to convey one message. Fix Affordable Housing Crisis.

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Naples affordable housing

The Collier County commissioners are addressing concerns over a lack of affordable housing.

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Florida’s affordable housing problem has no quick solution

As Florida’s population grows, so does its affordable housing problem. For local communities around the state, there’s no quick answer.

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Marco Rubio Wants to Crack Down on Foreign Real Estate Holdings With New Bill

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., brought out a proposal to help reduce foreign investments in urban real estate. Rubio introduced the “Home Advantage for American Families Act” as he noted that many foreign real estate holdings are “connected to illicit activity, and instead increase investment in affordable housing.”

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USA TODAY Report: Florida teachers unable to afford housing

Based on the USA TODAY analysis, not a single county pays starting teachers enough to meet a threshold of spending no more than 30% of wages on the median rental costs. High housing costs, low pay force teachers to stretch limits in nearly every corner of state — and that includes Polk County.

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For the first time in 13 years, Florida agrees to fully fund affordable housing

For the first time since 2007, the Florida House and Senate have agreed to fully fund the state’s affordable housing trust fund, known as the Sadowski fund. Both chambers have agreed to dedicate the full $370 million dollars to the fund, instead of taking money out to fund other projects like in year’s past.

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Collier County replaces homes damaged by Hurricane Irma

When Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017, countless families in Collier County lost their homes. For many, it was an unimaginable burden to even think about how to recover. But that challenging process was made easier by Collier County’s Community and Human Services Division.