WGCU | By Tara Calligan | July 26, 2022
In an effort to assist teachers and staff struggling to find homes they can afford, Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) is proposing an essential housing plan.
Essential Housing is for those unable to afford market-rate housing under current market conditions.
The median home listing price in Collier County right now is $740,000, according to Realtor.com, and glassdoor reports that the typical Collier County Public Schools teacher salary is $50,853 per year.
During the most recent school board meeting, Brian Williams, Associate General Counsel at CCPS, said this move is proactive.
“This essential housing would provide a more immediate solution, furthers our commitment to retention and recruitment of employees, it also incorporates the employees having the option of the employees using the Governor’s Hometown Heroes Program,” said Williams.
The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program offers frontline workers down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time, income-qualified homebuyers. Williams says the hope of the essential housing plan is that employees will be able to save money to purchase a home and continue to live in Collier.
A 35-acre property adjacent to Manatee Elementary School has been identified as the location for the proposed housing and currently permits 4 units per acre, but the plan is to use modular homes. Williams says that the housing plan is not permanent.
“It is property that is flexible, would allow us to essentially use this property for a short period of time and then temporarily convert it back to property that could be used for a school site or any improvements along those lines.”CCPS Associate General Counsel Brian Williams and
The land is owned by CCPS, and no building plans are outlined in the district’s 20-year plan. The property is currently zoned to build single family homes, but CCPS is examining what is needed to redesignate the land for modular homes.
CCPS is working with a local attorney to iron out the details, including a timeline and how to prioritize placement. Another proposal is planned for an upcoming school board meeting.
CCPS Associate General Counsel Brian Williams and Valerie Wenrich, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, gave an informational presentation to the Board about our current essential housing efforts. View the video recording of the presentation:
The presentation begins at five hours 38 minutes and 15 seconds (5:38:15) into the Board Meeting video recording. Board member questions on the topic begin around 5:46:05.
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