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Athens-Clarke County Workforce Housing Study: WORKING FOR THE BEST

The workforce household is nearly an abandoned segment of the U.S. population. Thousands of households fall into an income category where the American Dream is visible, but not tangible. They find it difficult to purchase or rent a home in an area that is both in close proximity to their work and sufficient for their needs.


Today, there is often confusion between workforce housing and affordable housing. For the purposes of this study, affordable housing is for households whose income is 80% of area median income or less; the definition does not imply that someone who is of low income is not in the workforce.


Workforce households are those with earned income from 60 to 120% of the area median income that may be insufficient to secure decent housing in reasonable proximity to local job centers. In Athens, the friction between incomes and the unassisted housing market creates unintended consequences for working households.

 

This report explores these challenges and attempts to provide stakeholders with the understanding of these issues and the tools to navigate toward a different outcome.