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Pulte Family Charitable Foundation to Spearhead 50-Acre Project in Impoverished Community in Southwest Florida

With the unanimous approval by the Collier County Board of County Commissioners yesterday, the development of a new, affordable housing community in Immokalee, Florida, which could ultimately lead to the creation of 179 rental single-family homes and townhomes, has begun in the rural farmworking community. Immokalee, located 40 miles from Naples, in southwest Florida, has more than 42 percent of its population living in poverty, with many residents, including families, currently residing in substandard housing.

The far-reaching project also would include an Early Childhood Education Center for up to 250 students.

The Pulte Family Charitable Foundation (PFCF), based in Boca Raton, Florida, is the initial donor for the 50-acre community. The PFCF is partnering with the non-profit Nuestra Senora de la Vivienda Community Foundation (NSVCF), which will request state funding to support vertical construction of the homes and provide wrap-around services for its residents once the community is built.

The PFCF, which is not affiliated with any other organization that uses the Pulte name, has committed $7 million to the development of the project in Immokalee. That initial gift is for the land, entitlements, and land development. Working with the NSVCF, the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation will engage public and private businesses and organizations, as well as private foundations and individual donors, to secure the $41.5 million needed to complete the entire project in Immokalee. Further, once completed, the NSVCF will establish an endowment to provide educational scholarships to qualifying tenants.

It is anticipated that ground will be broken for the project in late 2024.

"This represents a beacon of hope for our community," says Brandon Dowdy, Executive Director of Pathways Early Childhood Education Center, which is supported by the PFCF. "Affordable housing is much more than four walls and a roof. It is the foundation for stability and a stepping stone to prosperity. Our community here in Immokalee thrives when everyone has a place to call home, and our children flourish when they have a secure environment to learn and grow." 

Currently, most farm workers earn less than $12,000 per year, and in Immokalee, many of the families pay close to 70 percent of their income to rent. The median household income in Immokalee is less than $35,000. 

The affordable housing community in Immokalee is unique for PFCF, which typically supports humanitarian initiatives led by nonprofit organizations and educational institutions in the United States and globally. Of the anticipated 179 homes, 150 will be restricted to households making at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and 20 will be restricted to households making at or below 80 percent of the AMI. 

"The lack of a basic human need -- safe and affordable shelter -- is at the crux of many of the other social ills that many people are facing today," said Andrew Van Valin, Senior Manager of Acquisitions, Development, and Special Projects for the PFCF. "If people have stable housing, they can begin to look a little more long-term in their lives. Immokalee is a vibrant, proud community, but it is burdened by low wages and a lack of affordable housing. Our vision for this community is one that focuses on housing families and improving their quality of life." 

That vision includes safe and walkable streets, shaded outdoor spaces, a neighborhood clubhouse for events and community programs, and a community liaison staff that will help residents connect to necessary resources within Immokalee and Collier County. 

“Over the past two years, the Nuestra Senora de la Vivienda Community Foundation and the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation have been actively engaging with Immokalee residents to learn about their needs and identify the best ways to serve them,” says William L. McDaniel, Jr., chair of the Collier County Board of County Commissioners. “Collier County and the town of Immokalee are excited to see their unique housing initiative gain approval and move forward. Affordable housing remains one of Immokalee’s top priorities, and this new development will provide safe and affordable housing for families to grow, flourish, and improve their quality of life.” 

For more information about the new, affordable housing project in Immokalee, Florida, please contact Jeff Bookstein, Vice President of Development for the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation, at 561-544-0955, or

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