Habitat director says more needs to be done about local crisis

Lancaster

Numbers from the 2018 Out of Reach report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition show a person needs to make almost $20 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Lancaster County.

According to Andrew Szalay, executive director of Lancaster, Lebanon Habitat for Humanity, those numbers also show our area is dealing with a housing crisis.

“Right now, you generally can’t build a house for less than $200,000 or $250,000 brand new,” Szalay said.

Szalay recently wrote an article depicting the housing struggles locally. He said the local housing market here is shrinking as people look to move to the area for work.

“There is just not enough of it right now,” Szalay said of the housing supply.

Szalay said changing zoning options could give more space for affordable homes to be built.

“Can this be used for an affordable home?” Szalay is a question more people need to ask. “If there is more of it, the prices can be stabilized without constantly rising, without being unaffordable.”

Szalay said more of an investment needs to be made into affordable homes. He said until that happens, nothing will change.

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