Ideas to fix Collier affordable housing issue met with mixed reaction

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COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -

Collier County remains on the brink of an affordable housing crisis.

County staff has come up with some ideas they think should help.

Those ideas were met with mixed reviews at the county commission meeting Tuesday.

Most everyone can agree Collier County has a serious affordable housing problem, but where many disagree is how to solve it.

"There's a negative connotation and a knee-jerk reaction [to affordable housing], which isn't correct," Collier County Developer Ralph Cioffi said.

Collier County came up with a list of six ideas that they think will help.

Data shows that 40 percent of Collier County residents are living in the county un-affordably.

"A lot of these people live in our community now, they're just spending too much on housing," Cioffi said.

Tuesday, county staff proposed ideas to the county commission, including housing incentive programs, and increased density in certain areas.

Some think the ideas are great.

"Really, as a developer, if I'm given the right incentives, I'll build affordable," Cioffi said. "They clearly would work."

Others don't like the proposed plans.

People from East Naples showed up to Tuesday's meeting in force, concerned about too much affordable housing in their area.

"I've been concerned about this for a long time. We want affordable housing dispersed," Suzanne Orschell said.

Five out of the six initiatives passed Tuesday, meaning staff has the green light to continue working on them.

"I'd like to put some of these things to end, but that didn't happen today," Orschell said.

"They're common sense, they can work, and they can be done in such a way that it is a win-win," Cioffi said.

ALSO SEE: Collier leaders making moves to fix affordable housing crisis

ALSO SEE: Naples city workers struggle to find affordable housing


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