FORT MYERS

Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson says the city plans to make it easier for teachers and first responders to build homes for the people who make up the backbone of the community.

The plan is in its early stages, but the idea is to tap into the housing market and bring more affordable spaces to the area.

The pros of the plan are that it creates more stock in the housing market and gives people decent housing. This is a house that people could have where they could still afford to furnish it.

The downside is that there is risk involved in buying any real estate. The same goes for construction, but in this case, a real estate expert says the reward may just be greater than the risk to the city.

This is the American dream. A family, a white picket fence and a house to call home, but now only two of those things are within reach.

“We continue to see and I hear a common theme every day: people can’t find a place to live, they can’t find a place to rent, they can’t find an affordable home to buy,” said Joshua Rudnick, a real estate attorney.

You don’t need a law degree to know that buying a home is something fewer and fewer people can do.

“This is a crisis that affects our entire community,” Rudnick said.

Mayor Anderson knows this too and wants to do something about it. “We’re going to look at how the city builds the house and sells it at cost.”

Mayor Anderson said about half a dozen lots are vacant in Fort Myers, and possibly more. With a little help from the city, this vacant land could meet a lot of demand.

“And yet cut the cost to those people who are in that critical workforce category, you know, our nurses, our police officers, our prosecutors, teachers, and people in that wage bracket who make too much to really get help, but they “I’m not going to learn enough to buy a decent house,” Anderson said.

What happens when the city gets into residential real estate? Rudnik says there are more pros than cons. “I think there’s a huge benefit, a huge plus and a huge need for this. Therefore, the risk can be reduced.”

The concept is still in the very early stages, but the mayor said they could look at 50 properties to create homes for the people who make up the foundation of our community.

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