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SANIBEL | Community survey looks to address housing needs

Sanibel survey aims to secure vital funding for affordable housing
Posted at 10:56 PM, Oct 06, 2023

SANIBEL, Fla. — The City of Sanibel is reaching out to its residents to fill out an essential online survey aimed at securing crucial financial support from FEMA for affordable housing.

The survey focuses on analyzing the island's housing needs to help more people find suitable homes.

Community Housing and Resources (CHR) of Sanibel has started this survey, which aims to determine the number of people in need of housing solutions.

Nicole McHale, the Executive Director of CHR, says after Hurricane Ian ravaged their original location, they were forced to relocate to one of their apartment units.

"We right now, own 62 apartments," she said. "We lost 11 in Hurricane Ian."

The 62 affordable housing apartments are around Sanibel. McHale stressed that the survey results would significantly bolster their program, along with supporting other non-profit organizations, such as FISH of SANCAP.

"This 'needs assessment' is instrumental in being able to show the needs that are out here, and to be able to acquire funding," McHale said.

Every resident of Sanibel is encouraged to take part in this survey, especially those on a fixed income or working on the island.

Yleana Way has been part of the program for 12 years.

"We're not rich people, and they're working too, but they have their place and I have my apartment too," Way said.

Way believes without these crucial housing units, she would be forced to reside in Fort Myers. This would be a two-hour drive each day.

Before Hurricane Ian, over 6,000 people worked on Sanibel and Captiva. McHale says the survey stands as the first step in identifying the needs of those who contribute to the thriving island life.

Members of the Sanibel community are asked to complete the survey by November 2, which can be accessed through MYSANIBEL.COM.