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Affordable Housing Challenges in Beltway Suburbs

More people are moving to suburban counties, but a lack of affordable housing in places such as Loudon County, Virginia, means the suburbs are not an option for a growing number of people.
January 22, 2020, 7am PST | Camille Fink
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Meena Morar reports that Loudon County in Virginia has been experiencing rapid growth in recent years. "However, housing is very expensive, and county leaders want to make sure there are options that young families, workers, and adults over 55 can afford, as well as homes for people living in intergenerational households."

A 2018 Urban Institute report on millennials living in Beltway communities indicates that affordability is a major issue influencing where they locate. For this demographic, walkability, access to transit, and neighborhoods with restaurants and retail are high on the list.

"Only one-third of responders owned a house, and 57% of renters felt they would have to move beyond the Beltway to find affordable housing, according to the report," notes Morar. 

Most of the housing stock in Loudon County is made up of single-family homes, and county officials say they want to make housing affordable for a wide range of residents.

"In an attempt to become a more accessible place to live, Loudoun County’s new comprehensive plan includes an 'Unmet Housing Needs Strategic Plan,' which addresses improving transportation, promoting economic development, and creating new urban developments, among other things," says Morar.

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Published on Friday, January 3, 2020 in Greater Greater Washington
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