Session Topic :
Name of convener:
Donna Duke, Eula Mae Fox, Ellie Lyne, Diane Tilson, Ron Redmon, Linda Conner, Marnie
Main points from the conversation:
Median salary in this county is too low to afford the median priced home or the median rent.
The homeless and "precariously housed" are increasing. Many elderly are precariously housed in
homes that cannot be upgraded or made more energy efficient because of the home's
state of disrepair.
Home prices have not dropped even though the economy has slowed. Land prices are so high that
cannot afford to build small homes even if they want to.
Many people drive in from other counties to work, this lessens the feeling of ownership in the
community as well as increases job turnover.
"Affordable" is defined in different ways by different groups.
Habitat for Humanity is a great resource but only builds about one home per year.
Incentives for builders who build affordable homes.
Encourage absentee home-owners who are selling homes to consider rent-to-own.
Charge a 10% fee to developers who build neighborhoods of more than 10 units to go into an
affordable housing fund.
Build "Katrina Cottages" in the High Country.
Form a clearing house for services to connect people needing housing with low-interest loan,
Chamber of Commerce should ask all government entities to come to the table to solve affordable
housing issues. Collaboration between entities affected because they cannot attract employees
because of housing issues such as Board of Education, Watauga Medical Center,
ASU and County Government should be mandated. When they come together,
they should be prepared to do business formally.
Because Watauga County has a tourism-driven industry, second home owners could be taxed
because they do not contribute year-round to the economy.
This where the conversation ended...this is also where it continues.