Illinois REALTORS® Sharon Gorrell addressed concerns about housing supply and affordability at the Grundy County Community Foundation’s annual Growth Conference on Dec. 1 in Morris.
Gorrell and other expert panelists talked about jobs, housing and roads addressing the theme, “2027: What will Grundy County look like in 10 years?”
“There is a lot of discussion around the influx of intermodal and freight warehousing,” said Member Outreach Manager and Local Governmental Affairs Director Gideon Blustein, who represents the area for the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® and helped organize the conference. “While job growth is promising, it raises questions about the condition of area roads and if there is enough housing supply.”
In 2018, for the first time, renters will need to earn more than $20 an hour – or more than $43,200 annually – to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Grundy County, said Brent Newman, Executive Director of the Grundy County Housing Authority. A resident making minimum wage – $8.25 an hour – would need to work 100 hours a week for 52 weeks to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Grundy County.
Using REALTORS® Property Resource, Gorrell presented solutions to the situation in a non-confrontational format. She focused on the demographic makeup of the community, used ideas from the audience and then discussed regulatory hurdles and incentives from the state.
When participants in the conference were asked for their parting thoughts, Blustein summarized to the audience: “There is a housing supply issue, which is driving up costs. The easiest way to solve this problem is to identify and remove hurdles to new housing.”