Botetourt County addressing future housing deficit

DALEVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) - One county is on the hunt for affordable homes, after a new study showed they were at risk for a housing deficit.

The study was presented to Botetourt County’s planning commission Monday night and warned officials that despite recent development, many properties are not in the right price range.

In recent years, new and expanding businesses have helped bring hundreds of new jobs to the area, but the workers filling those new positions cannot afford the homes currently on the market.

The Housing Needs Assessment conducted by Market Dynamics showed that many of Botetourt’s jobs are in manufacturing and most workers make about $45,000. That means they are looking to spend about $135,000 to $270,000 on a home.

“Thus far we have not been able to see many builders who are willing to build in that price range," Local Real Estate Broker Vic Coffey said.

The market mostly has homes priced around $350,000, according to Coffey.

"We want to ensure that anyone at any age at any income, if they wanted to live in Botetourt County they would be able to do that," Assistant to the County Administrator Cody Sexton said.

County officials said zoning and land-use practices could help the county push developers to create affordable housing.

“We are looking for ways to encourage that diversity of housing in the county so we can meet the needs not only of our current citizens, but the citizens we hope to have in the future," Sexton said.

Sexton said the key to solving this issue will be adding that diversity in housing, including a variety of townhomes, apartments as well as houses.