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Cape Coral city leaders respond to affordable housing questions

Posted at 2:35 AM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 02:35:51-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — With more Southwest Floridians looking for affordable housing, many are looking to city governments for solutions.

“With the housing market the way it is, it makes it difficult," says Jennifer Nelson, who represents District 4 in Cape Coral City Council.

“We all know that the cost of housing has really escalated over the last eighteen months," adds John Gunter, Cape Coral Mayor.

This comes as 96 new affordable housing units were announced by the Lee County Commission to be built along Pine Island Road.

The project was praised by Dr. William Glover, who co-chairs LIFE, or Lee Interfaith for Empowerment.

The group is known for advocating for the creation of a recent affordable housing trust fund in Fort Myers.

“Our organization does span countywide, but at least on this issue…Cape Coral has set an example not only for Fort Myers, but also for the county commissioners in addressing the housing needs in unincorporated areas as well," says Dr. Glover.

The idea of creating an affordable housing trust fund of their own was something that Cape Coral leaders like Nelson didn't seem opposed to.

“As a collective body we have the authority and power to make that type of a decision and I think it would definitely help our growing city because we already have a need and as we grow and get larger, that need is going to become greater," she says.

With that need becoming greater, Mayor Gunter said it would be an important opportunity to collaborate with the county on finding lasting solutions.

“Sometimes when you have two different entities come together, you can get more accomplished than just one organization…whether it’s the county or the city," says the Mayor.

He also says that the city may start looking to see if it can revitalize programs already on the books as home prices and rent continue to rise.