Proposed affordable housing project in Collier County comes at a price

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Jennifer Hedrich
Published: Updated:
affordable housing
Man tying mattress to the top of his car. CREDIT: WINK News

Monday was the last day people living at the Golden Gate Inn had to pack up their belongings and leave the place they called home.

“A lot of those people, if they’re not seniors, they’re women with children, their families,” said Elizabeth Radi, spokesperson for the Collier Tenants Union, who spoke via phone. “These aren’t just people that can pick up and leave.”

During a meeting on June 18, a private real estate developer discussed with the county potential plans to turn the Golden Gate Inn motel into an affordable housing complex. The four-story motel would be renovated to include 185 units, similar to efficiencies.

The transaction is being handled by Dougall McCorkle, a broker representing the owner of the property.

WINK News spoke with some tenants as they packed up and moved out. One woman said she received notice around two months ago that she would have to leave.

Radi said she worries the people living in the motel may end up homeless because their options are limited. “If you don’t have that type of money, if you don’t have good credit or you don’t have three months of income to qualify, then you’re dead in the water,” said Radi. “These people are not able to find current housing at the housing market rates. They’re not able to find affordable housing, that’s why they’re living in a hotel situation.”

McCorkle says they currently have the owner under contract to sell. Although McCorkle can’t say who they’re selling to at this point, he told WINK that it is an experienced developer. In addition, McCorkle says there’s no real plans set in stone yet, but It’ll definitely have an affordable housing component to it. 

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