Lehigh becoming unaffordable for many

From the Express Times:

Homes out of reach for many

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.

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4 Responses to Lehigh becoming unaffordable for many

  1. James Bednar says:

    From the Allentown Morning Call:

    Study: Median-cost homes beyond reach of most

    Most people in the Lehigh Valley cannot afford to buy what has become the median priced home in the region, a Lehigh Valley Planning Commission study has found.

    The study concludes that many single-income households headed by people working in bedrock professions, such as teachers, nurses and police officers, are being priced out of the local housing market.

    The pressure on the Valley housing market is being exerted in large part by people moving in from northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and its suburbs who themselves are looking for an alternative to their skyrocketing housing costs, said Michael J. Kearney, the vice president of Mullin & Lonergan Associates, who presented the study’s most salient points Thursday night at the commission’s headquarters in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.

  2. lisoosh says:

    Letting the housing market drop back to where it should be will recreate plenty of affordable housing.

  3. R Patrick says:

    I know two guys that moved there about 3 years ago, when they gave up on LI. Whole house like 80K I guess no more

  4. Pat says:

    Duh, all they have to do is move into dead coal mining towns and drive 20 minutes. 35,000 houses.

    Yikes. What is wrong with these people? Affordable housing is right there. It’s like they never heard of commuting.

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