The City of Fort Myers is entering the second phase of a community redevelopment initiative that will potentially expand housing options and spark economic growth in the City. The project is part of the City’s ongoing partnership with the National Resource Network (NRN), a U.S. Government program designed to help communities facilitate economic recovery and growth.
The NRN project will focus on articulating a citywide vision for affordable and workforce housing through two project phases. Phase 1 of the NRN project was primarily investigative, and included a local housing market study, as well as a review of code enforcement systems and potential opportunities for growth. The NRN presented its Phase 1 findings at the Nov. 22 Fort Myers City Council workshop, noting the needs for more affordable housing options and a broader range of housing choices throughout the City. Phase 2 of the project was launched at the Nov. 22 workshop. In the current phase, the NRN will focus on modeling a five-year housing strategy for the City, which will include identifying geographic target areas and community partners. The Phase 2 deliverables will also include the development of performance metrics.
The NRN was established by the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative, and is designed to help cities develop the tools and strategies needed to grow their local economies. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The City initially submitted for support from the NRN in 2015, in hopes of developing an infill housing and redevelopment program. The partnership was approved by City Council in January 2016, and NRN representatives presented a project update during a Fort Myers City Council workshop on Nov. 22.
The second phase of the project is expected to be complete in February 2017.