03.28.16
HOUSING SUMMIT ADDRESSES AFFORDABILITY ISSUES IN MAURY COUNTY

columbiadailyherald.com http://columbiadailyherald.com/news/local-news/housing-summit-addresses-... Housing summit addresses affordability issues in Maury County By JAY POWELL jpowell@c- dh.net March 24, 2016 - 11:51pm The increase of average housing prices and shrinking inventory are top issues facing Maury County’s housing market, experts in the field say. The first of what will be multiple housing summits hosted by the Maury County Housing Council was held at Columbia State Community College on Thursday. The meeting consisted of breaking down the county’s housing markets, affordable housing options, the types of people seeking affordable housing and solutions to ensure availability and sustainability. “Affordable housing is so important, that it encompasses so many different areas, and we think that this partnership brings all of us together,” Trent Ogilvie, Columbia Housing and Redevelopment Corporation (CHRC) executive director, said. “Meeting affordable housing [needs] means that we have to accomplish a lot. We have to expand our development opportunities, capitalize on market activity, reduce the cost of creating affordable housing, preserve existing assets, recycle resources and generate local capital. All of that is necessary to increase affordable housing options.” Affordable housing includes residents who are at or below 80% of an area’s median income. In Maury County, that baseline is $53,600, Ogilvie said. One thing the CHRC is trying to accomplish in the next 20 years is rehabilitating 296 duplex units, some originally builtin 1961, through Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). The RAD program helps provide stable funding for public housing improvements through the state Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Ralph Perrey, Tennessee Housing Development Authority (THDA) executive director, was the meeting’s guest speaker. He addressed the importance of open community discussion when it came to housing, and those who need to be in the loop of the conversation, such as city leaders, real estate agents and those making at or below the county’s average income. He also praised the CHRC and other organizations, like the Maury County Chamber &Economic Alliance, working to revitalizeMaury County housing to the highest standards. “[Ogilvie] has a good plan to re-purpose those units that were built way back when John F. Kennedy was president,” Perreysaid. “That’s going to make a difference not just for the folks who live there and the housing authority, but for the neighborhood and community around it.” THDA is the state’s housing financing agency, offering mortgages to first-time home buyers of moderate to low income withmore than $2 billion loans in its portfolio. The interest gained from those loans is how THDA receives funding, rather than state dollars, Perrey said. The meeting also consisted of a housing panel, which included presentations by Maury County’s housing authorities. The panel focused on things like the Section 8 program, rural properties, CHRC public housing, community organizations and real estate. Crye Leike real estate agent Jimmy Dugger said the rise of the average price to buy a home combined with the growing population moving to Maury County has created a shrinkage of inventory. Home prices have consistently risen by $20,000 each year since 2013, he said, with year-end totals averaging $157,448 in 2013, $172,924 in 2014 and $192,335 in 2015. If new neighborhoods and residential communities are not created soon, he said, there could be major issues facing Maury County housing in the next few years. “Our inventory is shrinking so, so fast,” Dugger said. “We’re selling more and we’re selling higher, and the reason for this is people in Williamson County don’t want to live there … We need to have new subdivision developments starting right this very second, because if we don’t, we’re going to have a real problem in 2018, 2019 or 2020.” The average days a property sits on the market decreased to 75 in January compared to 103 in 2015 and 106 in 2014, he added. The total number of new inventory listings in January dropped to 149 compared to 184 in 2015 and 153 in 2014. Dugger also stressed the importance of having a group like the Maury County Housing Council because of what can be accomplished with all parties involved. “There’s three circles in our lives. There’s the people, the properties and then there’s the money,” Dugger said. “[Real estate agents] control two of those scenarios because we have the people in front of us and we have the propertiesin front of us that we have licenses to sell. We never have the money, never have control of the money. Therefore, meetings like this, which show cooperation between the lenders, [are] very important.” Copyright ©GateHouse Media, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved. • Privacy Policy

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