IMMOKALEE — The Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance (IFHA) recently received approval of their affordable housing site development plan from the Collier County Growth Management Department and the organization has moved into the pre-construction phase. Dr. Arol Buntzman, Chair of the IFHA Board, stated “This marks a major milestone in our efforts to build safe, affordable rental housing for low income families in Immokalee.”
IFHA will build a self-sustaining complex of 128 rental units on Lake Trafford Road in Immokalee. The complex will include a community center with a computer lab and library, along with rooms for early childhood and after school learning for children of residents, as well as community meetings. During the first phase of this project, two buildings with 16 apartments each will be built. Six additional buildings are planned as funds become available.
“Safe, hurricane-resistant rental housing has been the missing link for many years in assisting farmworker and other low-income families who do not qualify for governmental assistance to escape poverty and exploitation,” said Dr. Buntzman. “Lower rents will free up needed money to buy food, clothing, medicines, and other necessities. The ripple effect will mean economic growth and stability for the community of Immokalee.”
The Alliance is a 501(c)3 and will have no real estate taxes or profit motive. Consequently, rents will be a fraction of what families are paying now for dilapidated trailers and shacks, many of which were damaged by Hurricane Irma.
For more information on the IFHA project and to learn how you can help, visit their website at Immokaleefairhousing.org.