Possible Taskforce to Tackle Affordable Housing

By: Lindsey Ward Email
By: Lindsey Ward Email

August 1, 2007

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council are looking into joining forces and creating a taskforce to further explore the issue of affordable housing that faces many local families and workers.

Both the city and county already have committees working on the problem separately, but leaders say now is the time to bring together all parties and weigh in on how they should make improvements

“Affordable housing is not just a city issue, it's not even just a city and a county issue, it's a regional issue especially for low income affordable, rental housing,” said David Brown, Charlottesville Mayor.

It's the low income bracket that many say is often ignored. Ken Boyd, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Chairman, said up until this point the county has primarily focused on people who make 80 percent of the median income, which are teachers, police officers, and other service workers.

Boyd said although it's important for them to afford to live, there is a new concern facing the city and county.

“What this task force wants to look at is those people making less than 30 percent of the median income for our area, so that's a much lower socioeconomic group,” said Boyd.

He added it is common for people of this socioeconomic group to live in urban areas, but as the county becomes more urbanized it's important for county leaders to recognize the problem of finding reasonably priced housing.

Since it would be hard for anyone making $20,000 a year to afford their own home, the taskforce will spotlight rental properties.

If passed, the taskforce hopes to have their first meeting in early September.

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