VENICE (WWSB) - Affordable housing is a problem up and down the Suncoast, but the City of Venice may soon be home to a solution.
“Housing for young people, it’s just unfathomable how little there is to choose from. You can’t live in Venice; you have to go elsewhere,” Michael Gibbs, a life-long resident of Venice, explained.
Trying to buy a house is always difficult, but it’s even harder when the city you’ve called home for so long just doesn’t have the price points you can afford. Realtors at Exit King Realty tell ABC7 it’s something they’ve struggled with too - having to take 55% of their clients outside of Venice to find a home.
“There are 56 homes available right now in North Port at $175,000, and there’s only 13 here in Venice, and most of those are in flood zones which will make the insurance costs be a lot more than it would be in North Port," Realtor Brittany Coleman explained.
That’s why developers say they’re finally trying to do something about it by introducing The Cottages of Venice to the city. It would be a standalone, pocket neighborhood with 10 houses that would be 600-square-feet in size. Specifically built for single families with one bedroom, one bathroom, and tons of community amenities, all at an affordable price.
“There should be homes for everyone. I have people come to me with $130,000 to spend, and then I also have people who are looking for luxury. There’s every type of budget here, but there’s a lot less available in that lower price point," Coleman expressed.
These cottages would cost about $150,000 to $175,000 and would also come with two parking spaces. Potential homeowners hope this is a long-term solution to an expensive problem.
“It becomes a financial burden rather than a financial investment, and that’s not what affordable housing should be, let alone housing in general should be for anyone,” Gibbs said.
The developer of this project, Mike Miller, tells ABC7 that if this pilot project is a success, they hope to build more affordable neighborhoods, even some bigger in size, in Venice and around the Suncoast. A final vote by the City Council is expected in about six months.