Regional Plan Targets Affordability Issues

HANOVER — The mention of affordable housing conjures a variety of images and responses, some of them not as complimentary as others, but the problem is real and growing in the Commonwealth and across the nation.

According to recent statistics, around 35 percent of metro Richmond residents are considered “cost-burdened,” paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing.

Last week, Elizabeth Greenfield, Partnership for Housing Affordability director, and Laura Lafayette, Richmond Association of Realtors president, presented a vision for a comprehensive regional plan that would address the problem in a variety of ways.

“Fifteen percent are severely cost-burdened, paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing,” Greenfield told the Hanover County Board of Supervisors. The affected residents are evenly divided among renters and home buyers.

Senior citizens also compile a large majority of affected cost-burdened homeowners. While the homes in which they currently reside may be paid for with equity available, the cost of transitioning to senior living can be expensive.