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"We all know it's a problem:" Naples housing groups show off affordable options

"There was always a problem with houses being affordable here in Collier County, but they were more affordable than they are now," says a local realtor.
"We all know it's a problem"; Naples housing organizations team up
Posted at 11:21 PM, Apr 04, 2024

NAPLES, Fla. — As the population booms in Collier County, so does the need for affordable housing.

"Home ownership is acquiring wealth," local realtor Mary Waller told one of Fox 4's Collier County Community Correspondents, Bella Line.

Especially for those people known as the "missing middle."

Waller moved to Collier County 30 years ago as a first-time homeowner and paid in cash. She says this is something she does not see much anymore from first-time buyers.

"You don't even have to go back 10 years so just go back three years, the prices from three years ago to now before COVID," said Waller.

"Prices have basically doubled. There was always a problem with houses being affordable here in Collier County, but they were more affordable than they are now. You were more likely to be able to find something that you can live in comfortably, safely, and feel really good about and proud of."

"There was always a problem with houses being affordable in Collier County, but they were more affordable than they are now."

Mary Waller, Realtor

A comfort less and less people in the county feel, and it is not just young people or those moving to the county.

"If you don't know all the different resources that are available, it can become completely overwhelming," said Michael Puchalla, CEO of The Housing Alliance.

"We've been working in the housing space through our affiliate organizations for a number of years have great partnerships. When we can pull all this together in a single day, but also pull it together in our site so people can gather information. It's just, it's probably too overwhelming for an individual to start doing that research on their own."

It is why after years of people talking about the issue, two groups from Naples have joined forces to help educate buyers and realtors on their options, and they are not just talking rentals.

"We all know it's a problem," said Stephen Hruby, Chairman of The Housing Alliance. "It's time to look for solutions and look for actions to provide it and to get people in places they can afford."

"It's time to look for solutions and look for actions to provide [housing], and to get people in places they can afford."

Stephen Hruby, Chairman of The Housing Alliance.

The Housing Alliance will have its first expo on Saturday, April 6, alongside Habitat for Humanity and other housing non-profits.