Fort Myers launches loan program for smaller affordable housing projects
The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency announced a Renewable Home Loan Program for small affordable housing projects.
This loan is intended to encourage the development of affordable housing options, which the ARC says is desperately needed in the region. It is available in the redevelopment areas of Cleveland Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The loans will target smaller projects, such as single-family homes and apartments under 40 units.
“The program was designed, really, to fill a void in the market,” said Joseph Bonsora, of Catalyst Community Capital. “A lot of times when you think about solving this problem, you think of these big projects, you know, ‘We have to build 200 units, 300 units, big housing for the workforce,” which is true, but it There’s also another place we can help fill that gap, which are these little projects, which are, you know, the duplexes, the four units, the 10 units.
Loans must be repaid within two years. Once the loan is repaid, this money returns to the trust so that it can be loaned out again in the project area to help build more affordable housing.
“The City of Fort Myers has really worked with the Housing Authority and has done a lot to address the low income housing ladder,” said Michele Hylton-Terry, executive director of the ARC Fort Myers. “And, of course, we have provided income tax cuts and incentives for upscale housing, this is our opportunity to address that missing link. And I believe this program is going to … it is going to start something that can build on itself.