Leaders across Southwest Florida are offering solutions to help neighbors find affordable housing. According to the rental website Zumper, an average two-bedroom apartment in Fort Myers costs about $2,000 a month. That is up 45% from last year.
Leaders in Lee County are proposing a new rule for landlords. They know they can’t control rent prices, but they want to make it so landlords need to give tenants at least a 60 days notice if they’re going to increase their rent.
“It’s a crisis and we can’t ignore it,” said Fort Myers City Council Member Johnny Streets.
It is hard to ignore when there’s inflation going on all around us. everything is on the rise from gas prices, groceries, and of course, rent.
Larissa Silva moved to Fort Myers from Brazil and didn’t expect rent to be this high.
“It’s expensive. Too much expensive and I hope the prices will go down a little bit,” said Silva.
Streets want to help people like Silva. “Younger people getting jobs. Some wages are going up, but not as fast as they should be. We want to be a fair city for everybody,” said Streets
With the current price, Streets says more and more people are becoming homeless because they simply can’t afford to live in places like this.
“Seek a medium here where people can settle down and afford to live and work and play and take care of their family,” said Streets.
In Silva’s case, if rent were a little cheaper she could spend money on more. “To do a vacation and visit my parents because I’m from Brazil,” said Silva.
No decision has been made on the proposal for a 60-day rent increase notice.
Commissioners will continue to discuss affordable housing in future meetings. WINK News will keep you updated with whatever decision they make.