Study offers comprehensive overview of housing in state.

For more information, please contact George Gannon at 304.319.8643

The West Virginia Housing Development Fund recently presented the findings of a statewide housing needs study to a joint committee of the West Virginia Legislature.

The West Virginia Statewide Housing Needs Assessment, which was completed earlier this year, is a comprehensive review of the current and anticipated housing needs of all 55 counties. Each county was analyzed and evaluated to determine demographic trends, economic and housing market performance, household income projections and anticipated market demand.

Erica Boggess, the Fund’s Acting Executive Director, explained to members of the Joint Committee on Children and Families the purpose of the study and what insights were gained.

“This study gives us a good look at the state in terms of housing and how we can better serve our citizens,” Boggess told the group. “This information offers some clarity in terms of where we need to focus our efforts and how we can most effectively address the state’s housing needs.”

Using data compiled from a number of sources, including the U.S. Census, the U.S. Department or Labor, The American Community Survey and interviews with local government and housing officials, the study gives a specific and detailed look at housing trends, opportunities and challenges at the local, regional and state levels, Boggess told the committee.

Key takeaways from the report include:

·         Senior-renter household are projected to increase in 54 of the 55 counties between now and 2019.

·         Foreclosure rates are lower than national averages.

·         West Virginia has the highest percentage of homeownership in the nation

·         Affordable, subsidized or tax credit units are in demand.  Forty-seven counties have occupancy rates of 98 percent or higher in those units.

·         Greatest potential in rental housing need appears to be affordable senior housing.

“This study gives us a blueprint to go by as we expand our programs and look for more effective solutions to give all West Virginians the opportunity for safe, decent and affordable housing,” Boggess told the committee.

To read the entire study or to look for specific information for a given county, please click here.

The committee is chaired by Sen. John Unger, D – Berkeley, and Delegate Linda Longstreth, D – Marion. Among those also attending the meeting were Sen. Bill Laird, D – Fayette, Sen. Larry J. Edgell, D – Wetzel, Delegate Mike Caputo, D – Marion and Delegate Ruth Rowan, R-Hampshire.