PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Nonprofit Plans To Revitalize Immokalee Community

Ted Hoffman
Rural Neighborhoods Inc.
Rural Neighborhoods Inc. is in the process of purchasing 74 Immokalee homes in the hopes of revitalizing the community.

Rural Neighborhoods Inc., a Florida nonprofit, wants to build more than just affordable housing in the blighted area of Immokalee. It wants to build a community for its residents.
Rural Neighborhoods owns about 170 apartments in Immokalee that it rents to low and moderate-income tenants. It’s currently constructing 18 units. And the nonprofit signed a contract to purchase and revitalize 74 more.

Steven Kirk, president of Rural Neighborhoods, says there’s a lack of decent and safe housing in Immokalee, and a lot of families live in mobile homes. But Kirk says it's not just about housing. 

Part of the organization’s mission is to empower residents.

Kirk plans to bring in childcare services and teach locals how to bank properly.

"The more important goal for us is to create a sense of neighborhood leadership and to identify those leaders in the neighborhood who can continue our work... with or without Rural Neighborhoods," said Kirk. 

He expects these neighborhoods to be built out in the next two years. For now, Kirk has hired local architects and builders to make it happen.