After the great recession in 2009, there was an oversupply of housing in our area. We had plenty of homes, even if many still couldn't afford to live in them. Over the past decade, that has changed. We now have a shortage of housing (especially one bedroom apartments) and many more can't afford to live in what's available. So there are two major factors at play: the cost of constructing new homes, and the median income of our residents. To increase the supply of affordable housing, we need the cost of new construction to go down and for median incomes to rise. Right now, the larger economy is pushing up construction costs much more than median incomes, so what can we do?
At the county level, we can be most effective by providing high quality services and infrastructure to current and new areas of the county to increase the supply of land that is available for higher density development. This means providing good schools, access to EMS, Fire, and Law Enforcement, Water Infrastructure, and more. We've had some progress on this front, but much more is needed. Finally, the most effective way to increase median incomes at the County level is continued support for our schools and Community College (GTCC) so that our residents have the skills needed for higher paying jobs.