Study: Affordable housing drying up in Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Study: Affordable housing drying up in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - A local group says affordable housing is drying up in Chattanooga.

The group, called Chattanooga Organized for Action, says the city lacks thousands of units and claims the problem will only get worse unless the city makes some big changes.

As Chattanooga has grown over the past couple of years, affordable housing has dwindled causing some to make tough decisions just to make ends meet.

A recent study by Chattanooga Organized for Action shows the Scenic City lacks over 5,700 affordable rental units for households making less than $20,000 a year.

Executive Director Perrin Lance wants the city to expand housing PILOT programs to help bring more affordable units into the city.

“There are developers who are willing to show up and develop the housing and we just have to offer every tool of the trade and every incentive in the book to make the numbers work and develop the housing. The city should work with private and non-profit developers do everything it can including infrastructure, infill and rehab,” he said.

Lance believes the problem will only get worse as more people move to Chattanooga. The group's study shows Hamilton County's population will likely increase 29-percent by 2055.

Lance says the need extends into Section 8 housing and the future closure of College Hill and East Lake Courts will only make things worse.

Housing Authority Executive Director Betsy McCright tells Channel 3, “The Chattanooga Housing Authority is hard at work to address the need of affordable housing in our community.  There are no immediate plans to close College Hill Courts and East Lake Courts, and we remain committed to expanding our portfolio of housing.  As late as January of this year, the Housing Authority held a random drawing for 1,000 housing vouchers which will assist our residents in finding safe, affordable housing.” 

Council members have already voted to allow the downtown housing PILOT. Members will vote on each PILOT individually.

For more information about the study, click here.
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