Take Fort Myers survey to help decide budget for low-income families

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
City of Fort Myers downtown area. Credit: WINK News.

Community members can help decide how hundreds of thousands of dollars are used to help neighbors make ends meet.

The City of Fort Myers sent out a survey asking how it should allocate $600,000 for low-income families. The goal is to make more housing affordable.

Tedia Noney knows the struggle of finding affordable housing in Fort Myers all too well.

“It hit right at home,” Noney said. “I’ve experienced it.”

Noney’s son also understands well. He tried to move to the area to help take care of her when she had cancer, but he could not find a place to live. And Noney’s son couldn’t stay with family because of his severe allergic reactions to their pets.

“The rent was over half of what he made,” Noney said. “He got tired of being sick, so what he would do is he would live most of his time in the car.”

The city says it is situations like that it’s trying to address.

Rev. Rusty May and other members of Lee Interfaith for Empowerment said more money should be used to build more affordable housing units.

“If they want people to work in the hotels and the restaurants and any other tourist spots that are in the area, these are people that are going to need to be able to live and live here,” May said.

It’s something Noney wishes her son could have done.

“Affordable housing should be made available to everyone,” Noney said.

Noney wants to make sure more funds will help more people put a roof over their heads in Fort Myers.

The city says it wants to prioritize things such as assisting the homeless, retaining housing stock, and increasing the availability of affordable housing.

MORE: Share your thoughts by completing city’s housing and economic opportunity survey

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