The city of Brookings is putting together a task force to look at affordable housing options.
Tim Reed is the mayor of Brookings. He says a high percentage of residents spend more than 33% of their income on housing, making paying for other items like food and medical expenses challenging.
Reed says the task force is studying possible incentives for contractors to build more affordable housing or for better city regulations.
“The things that could be looked at could be changing some of our zoning rules on housing and density rules. Do we need to have more dense housing that can be less expensive? And then the other suggestion from council member Bacon was having a housing trust set-up where there would be incentives for contractors and developers to provide lower income housing,” says Reed.
Reed says council member Patty Bacon suggested forming the task force to spend a year studying how to reduce the high cost of housing.
“Our lot costs are high, the cost of land is high in Brookings and development costs can be expensive too by the time you get your road in and sidewalks and curb and gutter and get sewer and water and electricity to these lots, and so we do have that issue. Plus, it’s pretty well known that contractors and developers can make more money when you get above that $200,000 price tag, so that does make it tough for someone that’s looking for that house that’s at 160,000 or at $180,000,” says Reed.
Reed is hopeful that over the next year the task force will provide a solution.