Habitat for Humanity joins FEMA on temporary housing for Ian victims in SWFL

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
An affordable home built by Habitat for Humanity in the Heritage Heights planned community in Harlem Heights. Credit: WINK News

Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties is partnering with FEMA on a land-lease agreement to provide property for temporary housing in the Heritage Heights neighborhood for families displaced due to Hurricane Ian.

In search of available land for a temporary housing community, FEMA reached out to Habitat about establishing an agreement to lease a portion of undeveloped property within phase two of the Heritage Heights development. The lease will allow FEMA to provide and maintain temporary housing on Habitat’s property until families can safely return home. The site will include a separate road to access housing units for 58 families, enclosed by a privacy fence.

“While this is a short-term solution, our property is truly a gift to those who remain displaced following the hurricane, and we are grateful for the opportunity to support them through FEMA,” wrote Becky Lucas, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, in a press release.

Located in Harlem Heights, Heritage Heights is northwest of HealthPark Medical Center and offers residents a quick work commute to Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Cape Coral and Fort Myers. The location also provides convenient access to public transportation, hospitals and medical centers while increasing economic opportunities for residents.

As of this month, FEMA reported more than 1,150 households have received assistance through multiple temporary housing options, with more than half residing in Lee County. Of those needing FEMA housing, 66% are homeowners who suffered the loss or significant damage to their homes, and the remaining 34% are renters. As a faith-based housing ministry, Habitat’s hope is to work alongside those homeowners through hurricane recovery home repairs and renters by offering a path to affordable homeownership.

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