The term “affordable housing” often carries a negative connotation as most people associate this with individuals who live below the poverty line. But in the context of Williamson County, where housing prices have skyrocketed in recent years, we’re really referring to workforce housing.
Workforce housing is defined as housing that is deemed affordable for those who make between 80%-150% of the median income in a specified area. For Williamson County, this rate would include incomes between $37,600 and $70,500. The median salaries for teachers, firefighters, police and other public servants who are the backbone of society all fall within this range in Williamson County. I strongly believe that workforce housing is necessary to allow these essential members of the Williamson County community to live within the county and easily access their jobs. Additionally, Williamson County will begin to see a rise in the number of millennials moving here as they start families and grow their careers. We also live in an attractive retirement community, and in the next 10 years, we’ll see the retirement population of age 65 and older increase by 53%. Also take into account the increased traffic of commuters to the Franklin area (now up to 28,000 per day) from Davidson County, while nearly 20,000 people are coming in from Maury County.
When you consider all these factors at play, there’s an overwhelming need to support affordable housing to these and others in the workforce who can’t afford to live within the county. It would reduce traffic, allow these community members to become our neighbors, and reduce our carbon footprint in the process.
It’s time to reset the housing discussion in Williamson County.
As your next District 63 State Representative, instead of passing legislation that creates obstacles for our local government, I will fully support our duly elected officials and their ideas and solutions that make housing more affordable. I will work with community stakeholders to ensure we do this effectively and responsibly.