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Housing assessment and market study presented to Harrisonburg city council

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 11:19 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - With affordable housing a concern to many in the Friendly City, a comprehensive housing and community development firm presented a study Tuesday night to the Harrisonburg City Council.

Mullin and Lonergan Associates shared their findings from a study that included community input on affordable housing.

In the Harrisonburg housing market, the study found two key challenges facing the city and its residents. There is a housing mismatch where thousands of households live in units that do not match their own income. They also found a lack of the most affordable units.

They say people with higher incomes are choosing to live beneath their means.

The firm made several recommendations at the end of the presentation, including creating and establishing a Harrisonburg Housing trust fund and for the city to connect residents to better jobs.

The council was pleased with the findings.

“There’s a lot of data that we didn’t know and I want to make strong decisions on recommendations from the data that we needed to understand,” Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed said. “I don’t want us to go forward and just make decisions just to make decisions.”

The final report with additional recommendations will come at the end of the month.

“This gives us a roadmap to start working from,” Harrisonburg city manager Eric Campbell said on the need for stronger housing policy in the city.

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