I drove the Naples streets closest to the Gulf of Mexico and beaches. A month after the storm, debris is still piled up, waiting for FEMA or the city or the county or private contractors to pick it up. It seems that the worst storm damage was done to the oldest, single-story, modest homes on sites that had not been filled to raise the elevations.
Few of those small older homes will be repaired. Investors will buy them for the value of their lots. They will bring in fill to raise the level and will build big new houses to be sold to wealthy retirees.
Naples already had a serious problem with scarce affordable housing for teachers, police and fire fighters, and other service workers. Ian made this problem even worse.
It is hard to know what to say when you see such devastation.
Affordable housing is scarce almost everywhere, and the storm makes them even more rare here. For years I have been a supporter of Habitat For Humanity that builds affordable housing. I am surprised the debris is still waiting to be picked up.
It sounds troubling.
I hope that everyone thinks about the next storm before rebuilding. I have seen a lot of reporting from this disaster, many people lost everything they had.
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