From the Express Times:
Teachers, police officers, nurses and others who earn Lehigh and Northampton counties’ median salaries can’t afford the Lehigh Valley’s median-priced homes, according to a study released this week.
The study, conducted by consulting firm Mullin & Lonergan Associates Inc., identified a need for more affordable housing as one of the Valley’s biggest problems.
Now we begin the process of finding out what people think about it and what they’re going to do,” he said.
The study says only 616 affordable homes are proposed or planned for construction, but they are linked to projects that could reduce the total number of such homes in the Valley by 43, the study says.
Also according to the study, another 688 affordable homes could be lost next year when owners may begin renting them at market rates.
The study recommends more than a dozen ways to boost the number of affordable homes in Lehigh and Northampton counties. Some suggestions are:
Provide relief from impact fees to developers who build affordable housing.
Encourage partnerships between nonprofit and commercial developers.
Conduct workshops on affordable housing practices and policies for local builders, tax assessors and other housing industry professionals.
“Frankly, at this stage of the game, we don’t know exactly how to do that, but that’s part of the challenge here,” Kaiser said.