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Nonprofit developer brings workforce housing to Golden Gate

Nonprofit developer brings workforce housing to Golden Gate
Posted at 10:57 PM, Sep 11, 2023

GOLDEN GATE, Fla. — Leaders in Collier County have pointed to the cost of housing as the answer to why it's hard to find people willing to move to the county to work.

According to Collier County Housing Operations, 40,000 workers commute daily to Collier County.

Golden Gate, now facing a push for affordable development, especially for workers who serve the community.

The Golden Gate Golf Course, located along Collier Boulevard in Golden Gate is seeing that push first hand. A $90 million plan to develop 25 acres of the 167-acre plot into Workforce Housing is well underway.

“Today people are so priced out of rental housing in our community that they have to commute from Port Charlotte and other places," said Steven Kirk, Rural Neighborhoods President.

"The story of a teacher who commutes for two years from Port Charlotte and begins to realize at some point, I can work in Charlotte County. I don’t have to come to Collier each day.'"

The group, Rural Neighborhoods, has set aside more than 250 units targeting people with higher-income qualifications.

Kirk says this is "workforce housing" rather than affordable housing.

“Why essential personnel is so important is these are educators, the healthcare workers, and the first responders that bring quality of life to the Collier community and the Naples community,” said Kirk.

Kirk says this is just the first phase of development for the course and the nonprofit's hope is to add Veteran-targeted housing and senior housing as well.

For those who currently live on the golf course, their main concern is the upkeep and management after the construction concludes.

“We prefer the whole thing to be an 18-hole golf course but that’s not going to happen," said Gary Luginbuhl, Par 5 Association President.

"Based on the fact that the county has decided to make certain projects, this is the best that we can expect.”

Kirk says if all goes to plan, they expect to break ground by January 1, 2024.