Housing study results released

Published 6:21 pm Thursday, May 23, 2019

On Thursday evening, the third meeting was held to share the results of a Georgia Initiative for Community Housing study, which revealed a need for a wider variety of housing types in multiple price points.

GICH is a 3-year program that uses collaboration and technical assistance to outline needs related to housing and community development. The Troup County Center for Strategic Planning, Troup County, the City of LaGrange, the City of Hogansville and the City of West Point are participants in the program. The goal of the initiative is to help communities create and launch a locally-based plan to meet their housing needs.

“We started almost two years ago, and when we started, we quickly identified three priorities,” LaGrange City Planner Leigh Threadgill said in an earlier meeting. “One of those was to ensure that all housing needs are met, and within that, we identified a priority project, which was to undertake an analysis of our housing market and any kind of strategy we could develop to improve it.”

A large portion of the discussion at the initial meeting on the results revolved around the reasons why people who work in Troup County and live elsewhere choose to live outside the county. Some of the reasons cited in the results included quality of schools, taxes, public safety and housing costs. However, housing variety was singled out as a significant area of focus in the presentation, which included several local officials regularly involved in the re-zoning process.

“Almost 30 percent of the people said that ‘there isn’t the type of housing that I want here. I would live here, but I’m not finding the type of house that I want,’” said Geoff Koski, president of the Bleakly Advisory Group. “That is what the survey results told us. We are looking for opportunities. We are trying to unpack the data that we are uncovering. Is there an opportunity to get these people here? Is there an opportunity to expand the housing market? All the data says ‘yes’ to us.”

The results were based heavily on a survey that asked Troup County residents and people who work in the county questions to assess current housing supply and future housing needs. 

The full results of the study are available at Lagrangega.org/Content/Templates/documents/troup-housing-bag-report-may-2019.pdf, and a video of Koski explaining the data is available on the City of LaGrange–Government Facebook page.