By: Sloane DeBerry
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – The prices of houses in Chattanooga are at an increasingly high rate and leave residents of the city concerned.
“Housing for All” to the City Council at the meeting on Feb. 26. a 83 page study concerning the housing market in the Chattanooga area. John Bridger, Executive Director of RPA, recommended that the city form a Housing Task Force to review his findings.
“I want to emphasize that this is a report and is not a formal policy. I also want to emphasize that the report recommendations have not materially changed from the housing summit,” John Bridger said.
The goal of this study, suggested by the City Council of Chattanooga, was to see if the city’s housing polices were constant with the residents choosing to rent homes instead of buying them. This study was conducted during the time span of a year.
“Sixty or 70 percent of households that make less than $30,000 are spending more than 30 percent on housing, which is considered, that’s over what’s recommended nationally,” Bridger said.
Betsy McCright is the Executive Director of the Chattanooga Housing Authority. McCright said the need for affordable housing is significant, there are 1,600 people on their public housing waiting list.
“Demand for lower-priced homes is increasing, especially affordable, quality homes in the urban overlay zone,” Yuen Lee, RPA director of information and research, said. The housing plan focuses on the overlay area of neighborhoods between Missionary Ridge and the Tennessee River in Chattanooga.
“This could have some real spin-off effects in reducing crime. Where the neighborhood goes, crime goes a lot of times and so many things that can come from improving the neighborhood situation, the housing situation,” Councilman Jack Benson said.