Housing affordability has always been at the forefront of our organization over the past 28 years of our existence, but now in 2022 we are really having to think outside of the box and come up with new plans to offset the rapidly increasing costs of housing, both homeownership and rental!  It’s certainly not just about building smarter with lower cost materials or searching for lower cost labor bids.  Real estate pricing has exploded to the point that home purchasing and home leasing have become a crisis, especially for lower-income buyers.  And wages are not going to catch up with these rising costs anytime soon. 

A whole new game plan has to come about with cooperation from all of the housing players, including government (federal, state and local), builders, developers, financiers, suppliers, non-profit agencies, foundations and others.  The challenge is so large that any one or two of these players are not enough to make a significant dent in the affordability problem.  The real solution will come when everyone has a participating part of a successful program.

The City of Waco recently received a report from a consulting organization that did a comprehensive housing study to explore answers to the affordability challenge.  Not surprising, they found that the answers to the problem are indeed going to be multifaceted with a number of players participating to find solutions.  We at NeighborWorks Waco are ready to take on this challenge, as we search for workable solutions.

So, be on the lookout for terminology such as Housing Trust Fund, Community Land Trust, Accessory Dwelling Units, Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Areas, Higher Density and many others.  Let’s move forward to support quality, safe and affordable housing for all!

Roy Nash