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Affordable housing complex in Immokalee reached full capacity in 90 days

Affordable Housing Immokalee
Posted at 9:29 PM, Mar 01, 2024

IMMOKALEE, Fla. — Rural Neighborhoods' new affordable housing complex in Immokalee, that opened in November, reached full capacity in 90 days.

Rural Neighborhoods builds affordable housing communities in rural areas throughout Florida. They are currently in 10 counties throughout the state.

In 2004, the organization started building affordable rental homes for farm-working families in Immokalee. They built seven communities with more than 350 units in the area.

Rural Neighborhoods President Steve Kirk said their mission is to improve the lives of working families.

"We began our work there because not only is it difficult to find an affordable place to live but also hard to find a safe and decent place to live," he said.

He said they want people to have a place to call home that are updated. They also want them to withstand hurricanes, unlike a common sight in Immokalee: mobile homes.

"Even in Immokalee today, rent has risen," Kirk said. "Not necessarily comparable to Naples ranges, but the percentage of increase has been remarkably high."

Rent for one of the 24 units in Casa Amigos depends on salary, around 30% to 60% of the renters income. Each apartment is two beds, two baths and a kitchen.

Dottie Cook, also with Rural Neighborhoods, said they already started a waiting list.

"We wish it was 250 units and not 24 because there is such a need in the community," Cook said.

40% of the renters work in agriculture, while the other 60% work in Immokalee.

"Agriculture is changing so we are gradually expanding," Cook said.

They said every few years they build in Immokalee to reach the affordable housing demand.

As of now, they don't have another community planned for this area.