Sunday, March 15, 2009

Great primer on affordable housing

Charlottesville Tomorrow has published a terrific and thorough introduction to the topic of affordable housing in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

They don't spend a huge amount of time talking specifically about those earning below 30% AMI (around $20,000/year), which is what IMPACT is focused on, but there is this powerful quote:

"... the problem of a shortage of affordable housing is more complicated than examining incomes and ensuring that an adequate number of units exist for households at each income level; it is not only people who qualify as “low income” that try to save money on housing.  Since people with higher incomes and University students look for inexpensive housing within the City and there are a limited number of affordable rental units, low-income earners have to spend a higher portion of their pay on rent in order to be competitive in the rental market.  The situation has been exacerbated by the slowdown in the housing market; as the demand for rental units grows, rental prices within the City and County are increasing while unemployment is on the rise and salaries are staying the same or decreasing."

Thanks to IMPACT efforts, some progress has been made (City budgets, joint task force), but the economic climate makes a "perfect storm" for affordable housing, particularly for low wage earners. Please come out on March 30 to support our neighbors who can't find a suitable place to live at a livable price.

No comments: