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Habitat for Humanity to build ‘Strong and Thriving’ community in Heritage Heights

Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties broke ground Feb. 7 on a new neighborhood that will empower 150 local families to build strength and stability through affordable homeownership.

Heritage Heights, adjacent to the Kelly Road Soccer Complex between Gladiolus Drive and Summerlin Road in Fort Myers, will be a strong and thriving community that provides quality, affordable homes for 150 hardworking, modest-income families. It will be the largest Habitat community ever built in the organization’s 38-year history in Southwest Florida.

Heritage Heights will have its own homeowners’ association and feature amenities common in semi-private communities, including a playground, basketball court, gazebo, freshwater lake and streetlights.

“Homeowners at Heritage Heights will include educators, health care professionals and public service workers who aren’t just looking for a place to live, but a place to call home and drop roots for the next 20 to 30 years,” said Habitat CEO Becky Lucas. “Heritage Heights residents will experience a great sense of pride – pride of ownership, pride for their beautiful neighborhood and pride for their accomplishments.”

The concept for Heritage Heights began more than a decade ago as a solution for Southwest Florida’s affordable housing challenges. Donations from generous individuals, businesses and organizations helped Habitat purchase the 20-acre property in 2016. Environmental studies, site planning, permitting and initial site preparation took nearly four years, with dozens of supporters turning out Feb. 7 to mark the next phase of Heritage Heights’ development.

Heritage Heights is located in Harlem Heights, an area northwest of HealthPark Medical Center that offers residents a quick work commute to Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Cape Coral and Fort Myers.

To date, the vast majority of Habitat homes have been single-family models built on lots scattered across the region. Habitat leaders believe that creating a neighborhood of residents with similar goals and shared experiences will create a true sense of community among its residents.

“We envision neighborhood children riding their bicycles down the street together to have fun on the playground, or breaking out in a spontaneous game of kickball,” said Habitat Board Chairwoman Pam Avesian. “Residents of Heritage Heights will be personally vested in their homes and community, and pride of ownership will be evident from day one.”

Habitat homeowners are required to put in 300 “sweat equity” hours helping construct their own home, as well as complete financial literacy and home maintenance classes, pay closing costs and commit to paying an affordable monthly mortgage payment.

The single-family homes in Heritage Heights will feature three bedrooms and two bathrooms with about 1,100 square feet under air. Each home will have a one-car garage, paved driveway and fully landscaped yard. Additionally, Heritage Heights will offer a limited number of townhomes. The 1,200 square foot townhomes include three- and four-bedroom options with two bathrooms.

Once completed, Heritage Heights will usurp Majorca Palms, a 108-home neighborhood in Fort Myers, as the largest Habitat community in Lee County. Two additional Habitat neighborhoods are in the development stages: Streetsboro in Bonita Springs and McNeill Village in North Fort Myers.

Prospective residents of Heritage Heights can learn more about the neighborhood and the application process by visiting Habitat4Humanity.org/apply or calling 239-652-0434.

About Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties

Since 1982, 1,600 families in need of a hand up have partnered with Habitat Lee and Hendry to build or improve their home. Habitat homeowners, alongside volunteers, help build their own home and pay an affordable mortgage. Through volunteering, financial or material donations, everyone can help Lee and Hendry county families achieve strength, stability and independence. Through shelter, we empower. For more information, visit www.Habitat4Humanity.org.

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