Housing options pursued

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2005

Creating incentives to prompt more developers to build affordable housing.

Changing the NIMBY-Not in My Back Yard-perception that affordable housing is cheap housing.

Enhancing financing options that will make homeownership an option for more people earning around $41,000- the median household income in Suffolk.

Email newsletter signup

Those are just some of the ideas that the Affordable Housing Task Force has come up that would ultimately up the city’s stock of affordable housing stock, Jeryl Phillips, plans and policy coordinator, said during a presentation to the Suffolk City Council Wednesday.

The task force, which includes representatives from council, the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and city officials, has spent the past year studying issues that impact housing costs, such as construction, design, finance options and the like.

Input from the task force will ultimately be used in crafting the ongoing revision to the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, Phillips said.

Goals identified by the task force include:

-Increasing the city’s limited supply of housing selling for under $200,000.

With most new houses in Suffolk today costing an average $276,399, it is difficult for people earning in the $41,000 range to afford to live in the city.

Ideally, wage earners at that level should be spending just 30 percent of their income – just over $1,061 – on housing needs, Phillips said.

-Creating an equitable distribution of workforce housing-both new construction and rehabbed existing housing -throughout the city.

-Make sure the design standards of workforce housing are of the same or better quality than surrounding housing.

-Partnering with non-government organizations to help bring more workforce housing to the city.

-Build on the existing framework of housing assistance programs to create more homeowners.

&uot;Affordable housing is not just a Suffolk problem,&uot; Phillips said. &uot;It’s a regional issue.

&uot;Our primary goal is to allow people who work in Suffolk to live in Suffolk.&uot;