On Tuesday, a new affordable apartment complex is opening up off of Winkler Avenue in Fort Myers.
Cypress Village, located at 4520 Glenford Blvd., has 77 one-bedroom units and 18 two-bedroom units, and the prices per unit are specialized to each person who rents them, ensuring every tenant can afford their home.
Thomas Felke, associate professor of social work at Florida Gulf Coast University, says this really helps families who are working hard and still unable to afford a roof over their heads.
“We’re not developing affordable housing; we’re not developing workforce housing; we are developing luxury, retirement, vacation housing, that’s where we’re going when you’re looking at apartments that are being built,” Felke said. “There are several developments that are being built out there that are apartments, but you look at the rents, they’re starting in the $1,400 range. Now compare that to what is happening at Cypress.”
Cypress Village is financed through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, State Apartment Incentive Loan program and funds from Lee County. Felke says this should be looked at as a model for other communities, too.
“We also need to be paying attention to living wages,” Felke said. “We need to be paying attention to food security. We need to be paying attention to transportation and development because all of those factors are going to influence where people decide to live. And then, also, where do they decide to work, and in some of our service professions, first responders, teachers, etc. If they can’t find a location where they can both work and live, they’re probably going to make a choice to go somewhere else.”
This community also offers on-site case managers who are there to provide support to any households that are interested.