A Look At Lee County Housing Development

By: Special to East Lee County News

During the last 10 years, while Lee County’s population grew by 23% – an estimated 140,000 residents – single-family home values rose by 213.8% during that same period. The Lee County Property Appraiser’s preliminary tax assessment for 2022 places average home values at $415,448, over 3 times what the average home was worth in 2012 ($132,415). This has become the clearest indicator of local demand. Home value listings in Lee County have gone up 45% over the past two years, where the median single-family home will be listed for $499,000 as of April 2023. For comparison, home values typically increase about 4-8% during a particularly good year.

Approximately 80,000 residential units are in the pipeline, with 28,094 units under production in the cities and 42,931 residential units currently being planned or under construction in Unincorporated Lee County. The number of single-family building permits issued in Unincorporated Lee County jumped from 2,234 new homes started in 2019 to 4,957 new homes started in 2021 – a 122% increase. The same market trends are essentially true for the rental market as well.   Of all of the housing being proposed or built, less than 1% is expected to be workforce or affordable housing.   This, along with the number of homes damaged after the storm, is the main reason that the county’s housing initiative is so important and timely.  Out of the $1.1 billion granted by HUD to Lee County, $660 million has been allocated to support affordable housing investment.  A description of the first program that will be released is below.   Housing costs are not the only problem affecting the housing market’s challenge.  Home insurance, surging material prices, supply chain challenges, higher interest rates, and all combine to make the housing market costly and difficult for working families to access.  


Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grant funds are appropriated by Congress and allocated by HUD to rebuild disaster-impacted areas and provide crucial seed money to start the long-term recovery process. (Issued by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)


$50 million in Multifamily Affordable Housing Rehabilitation of 5 units or more that was not covered by insurance or other federally funded methods. $300 million in New Construction/Acquisition/rehabilitation/conversion.

  • Eligible costs: Acquisition and/or Rehabilitation of Multi-Family Housing, including conversion of non-residential or market rate units to affordable units (labor, materials, and other costs of rehabilitation of properties). New Construction of Multi-Family Housing (property acquisition, soft costs, and hard costs related to new construction of housing units)
  • A minimum amount of funding is $4,000,000 – The maximum is $20,000,000 or $250,000 per unit for multifamily housing (5 units or more). Applicants can pool their properties together to meet minimum standards.
  • 51% of the units must be occupied by households with 80% AMI or less
  • Projects must be completed within 6 years of HUD’s executed agreement of grant funds to Lee County
  • Must comply with Davis-Bacon
    • HUD-funded housing construction projects consisting of properties with eight (8) or more residential units are subject to Davis-Bacon regulations and apply to contractors and subcontractors carrying out federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for corresponding work on similar projects in the area.

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