Plano votes to enhance housing affordability programs as home prices rise

The City of Plano improves housing programs for low-income residents as prices rise

Texas /
May.May 12, 2022 03:58 PM
Plano Mayor John Muns (Plano, iStock)

Plano Mayor John Muns (Plano, iStock)

With home prices continuing to rise, Plano residents are gradually being priced out of the market.

The average income of Plano residents hasn’t kept up with the median cost of a home, according to a study by the city’s Neighborhood Services Department, the Community Impact Newspaper reported. The study found that those earning an average wage in the city could no longer afford a median-priced home – which was $518,00 in March, data from the Collin County Association of Realtors show.

“It is a dilemma because even the housing stock that’s being [developed] is going to be so much more expensive than that same home or townhome or an apartment would have been 10 years ago,” said Mayor John Muns. “So what could have worked [then] is now unaffordable.”

The estimated median household income in Plano is $96,348, nearly 43% higher than the national figure of 67,521, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. Soaring demand for housing in the city has driven prices out of reach for workers earning an average wage, city officials said.

Muns said it’s important that the city maintains Plano’s high-quality neighborhoods and living standards while also finding more ways to make it a place where teachers, firefighters, and police officers, or those earning similar incomes, can own homes.
“I have been struggling for the last 20 years trying to figure out how to get teachers and police [officers] to live in Plano,” Muns said.

The City Council approved a resolution at its May 9 meeting to amend the value limits set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for its Home Investment Partnerships Program in Plano, a federal program that provides funds to local governments to increase housing affordability for low-income residents.

The program prohibits use of the funds to assist with the purchase or repair of a home worth more than $285,000, but the council voted to increase that limit for Plano to $418,000, based on local real estate data.

In total, the city will use about $2 million in federal funds this year to assist low- to moderate-income residents with housing-related costs.

“In total, that is not a lot of money, but it’s the most amount of money that any city in Collin County gets,” said Shanette Eaden, neighborhood services housing and community services manager.

[Community Impact Newspaper] — James Bell





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