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"Sadly, we need a lot more:" Housing coming to Arcadia still has its limitations

400+ people are waiting for affordable housing.
Posted at 10:17 PM, Mar 15, 2024

ARCADIA, Fla. — The lack of affordable housing is an issue all across Southwest Florida. However, it's especially hitting hard in Arcadia.

“It’s a rural location, so there’s not a lot of apartment complexes," Arcadia Housing Authority Executive Director Becky-Sue Mercer said. "Sadly, we need a lot more. We simply just do not have units for everyone who's on our wait list.”

The economic effects of Covid, inflation, and the devastation from Hurricane Ian have not made things any easier.

Mercer said her department dealt with around 100 applicants at any given time before the pandemic hit. Now, a little more than 400 people are sitting on a waiting list for affordable housing.

The housing authority works strictly off a waiting list. People can wait anywhere from days to even years. Preferences are given based on employment, domestic violence situations, and service veterans, among others.

"We see a little bit of everything by having such a broad range of bedroom sizes," Mercer said. "We also see that broad range of that elderly handicapped disabled person on a social security, all the way up to families, a husband and wife with eight or nine children that are working and still struggling to afford the high rentals."

However, Arcadia Housing Authority officials said five new affordable housing communities are under development.

The rents in the new affordable housing communities are based off the area median income through Florida Housing Finance. So, a single person needs to make less than $26,900 a year to qualify.

You find learn more about these communities by visiting the Arcadia Housing Authority's website.