Collier County awarded $7.8 million for affordable housing

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s board of directors unanimously awarded Collier County $7.8 million to fund affordable housing. This is the first time in more than 10 years that Collier County has received state funding for affordable housing development. The award is a direct result of the Collier County Board of County Commissioners’ efforts to increase affordable housing opportunities and implementation of the Housing Plan.

The future Bembridge apartments, located on county-owned property along Santa Barbara Boulevard just north of Davis Boulevard, will be an 82-unit apartment community that will serve residents of Collier County earning between 30 and 80 percent of the county’s area median income.  The community will provide a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments and feature a clubhouse, pool, and fitness center, along with various resident services and programs.

The property is being developed by McDowell Housing Partners, an affiliate of McDowell Properties, a national developer and investor of affordable and workforce housing with more than 40,000 units in operation. 

In July 2019 the Board of County Commissioners, through a competitive bid process, entered into a public/private partnership with McDowell to develop workforce and senior housing on the surplus 5-acre site. McDowell has exceeded the county’s expectations with its ability to quickly secure the competitive and scarce sources of financing needed to develop an affordable housing community with restricted rents approximately 30 percent below comparable market-rate apartments.

Chris Shear, Managing Director of McDowell Housing Partners, states the community is aimed at providing residents with a high quality of life at truly affordable rents. “We are pleased to be partnered with Collier County to fill a critical void in the area’s housing market. Bembridge will provide a quality housing opportunity for the workforce, specifically the hard-working essential service personnel who keep our communities thriving” Shear said.

The development team is working through the design and permitting process and expects to break ground in late 2020, with units ready for occupancy by the end of 2021.

For more information on this program and other housing programs administered by Collier County Community and Human Services, call (239) 252-2273. For media inquiries, call Daniel Christenbury, Public Information Coordinator, at (239) 405-1300.

The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.

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