LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – In the midst of a housing crisis, Lancaster is having discussions with state lawmakers and non-profit and for-profit housing developers within the city.
The overall goal is to get more people into homes.
“What we are trying to do is figure out ways to increase the amount of housing in the state of Pennsylvania looking at it from a workforce perspective, from an affordable housing perspective, for those on lower incomes and just the general public in terms of how do we make sure our economy continues to grow,” state representative Mike Sturla said.
Sturla is the chair of the state’s housing and community development committee. Following conversations with the housing developers, Sturla thinks there were positives to take away but also some frustration.
“There are some people that say ‘can’t we just stop making the code so strict. can’t we stop some of the regulation’,” Sturla said. “I want to expedite those regulatory things but I don’t necessarily want to get rid of fire and safety codes.”
Dana Hanchin is the president and CEO of HDC MidAtlantic, a non-profit developer out of Lancaster.
In a statement, she said, “The rising costs of insurance and construction are cost-burdening developers and making developments difficult to complete with reasonable timelines and on budget.”
It’s difficult for developers and for those who need an affordable place to live.
You should be spending about 30% of your income on housing; however, Sturla says some people are spending more than 50% of their income.
Adding funds to the budget helped, but it’s not enough.
“We put an additional 50 million dollars in and all it did was cover the increased cost of the projects we had approved the previous year,” Sturla said.
He believes it will take billions, not millions, of dollars to get the housing supply where it should be.