Homeownership always has been a component of the “American Dream,” and there’s no dispute that a segment of the population struggles to achieve it. As that gap widens, the supply of affordable housing shrinks, and costs of funds increase, the dream slips further away. The lack of workforce housing immediately impacts industrial expansion in Hardin and surrounding counties.
Background: For factors contributing to limiting affordable housing options, we need to look no further than planning and zoning offices in some cities. Many U.S. cities have imposed such restrictive covenants on building new homes that it’s driven the cost of construction to the point that developers can’t maintain acceptable profit margins by building smaller, more affordable units. Currently, around 15% of the costs of new home construction projects are siphoned off by government regulation, permit fees, inspection fees and hearings. These facts alone are partly responsible for blocking an entire sector of potential home buyers from initially entering the housing market.
T.W. Shortt, a former member of Radcliff City Council, is past president of Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors and a local real-estate broker.