The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers has been awarded a total of $8 million in funding to support a major revitalization project within the greater Dunbar community.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded a $5 million supplemental grant that will support The Greater Dunbar Initiative in overcoming rising construction costs and improving housing options within the Southward Village public housing community in Fort Myers. The Greater Dunbar Initiative is funded in part through a $30 million Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant from HUD.
“When it comes to Choice Neighborhoods, HUD is an invested partner at the table,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge in a news release announcing the grant. “Cities and public housing authorities are working tirelessly to address affordable housing shortages despite pandemic era construction cost increases. The additional Choice Neighborhoods funding represents HUD’s commitment to creating new housing for the communities that need it most. The Choice Neighborhoods approach is a comprehensive model that can be transformative for communities and we invite more communities to consider tapping into it.”
Additionally, U.S. Congressman Byron Donalds – a longtime advocate for affordable housing in Southwest Florida – has championed an appropriation from the federal government, securing $3 million in funding to support the first phase of The Greater Dunbar Initiative, a 92-unit housing development on Cleveland Avenue to house residents while the Housing Authority completes the large-scale revitalization of the Southward Village community. During a presentation event on April 13, Housing Authority recognized Congressman Donalds with a Community Impact Award for his support of this initiative.
“These dollars will play an essential role in furthering the Greater Dunbar Initiative and creating a lasting impact within the greater Dunbar community for years to come,” said Marcia Davis, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers. “We are grateful for HUD’s support of this cause – along with U.S. Congressman Byron Donalds, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and many others for their efforts to champion this funding – as these resources will help provide new opportunities for residents in our region.”
The Greater Dunbar Initiative is a comprehensive transformation plan for the large-scale revitalization of the 37-acre, 199-unit Southward Village into a mixed-income community, which improves existing affordable housing units for residents while expanding choices, creating market-rate amenities, and adding new mixed-income housing to create a resilient and healthy neighborhood moving forward. The initiative aims to tie together market preferences, resident needs and community reinvestment to transform the community into an equitable, desirable and proud neighborhood that meets the needs of all residents.
“My vision for this city is that we be one, united city – a great place to live, work and raise a family,” said City of Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson. “This is a big, $300 million project, so every little bit that comes in helps towards reaching that goal, fulfilling that dream and making that vision come true.”
To learn more about The Greater Dunbar Initiative, visit www.HACFM.org or call 239-344-3220.
About the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers
The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers serves as a catalyst for increasing access to safe, stable and sustainable housing and to help develop, preserve and revitalize communities through affordable rental housing. For more information, visit www.HACFM.org or call 239-344-3220.