Solving the housing crisis in Collier County

Posted at 10:49 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 07:14:48-05
Officials with Habitat for Humanity, the Florida Housing Coalition and the Board of County Commissioners will hold a workshop Tuesday to discuss the high cost of living.
"The number of inquiries and people we're working with has doubled in less than a year and a half, and it is certainly a result of increased rents, decreased inventory," said Lisa Lefkow, Collier's Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity.
She says demand has gone up, but wages haven't.  Former Housekeeper Michelle Gonzalez applied for a low rent home with Habitat after her rent increased $230 in three years.
"We went 6 months paying 930, it was dragging me real hard down the drain," said the mother of two.
The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Collier County increased from $900 to $1,000 over the past year.  Two bedroom's jumped from $1,250 to $1,450 according to
Some of the issues that could come up at the meeting including speeding up the zoning process, and down payment assistance.  They may also discuss accessing a fund to encourage developers to build cheaper housing.