Case Study: Pittsboro, Chatham County
Need for affordable housing in Pittsboro is large and growing, as the following statistics from a 2008 Housing Needs Assessment Update commissioned by the Chatham County Affordable Housing Task Force and completed by The Wooten Company demonstrates:
- Housing prices appreciated by 62% between 2002 and 2008, significantly outpacing wage increases for most people. Private employees’ wages, for example, increased by only
- 13% and government worker wages went up by only 10%.
- In 2006, a family of four earning at or above the Chatham County mean of $60,700 could afford a $216, 900 home, and between 2006 and 2007, 80% of homes sold for more than $200,000. But, 30% of Chatham households make less than $30,000 annually.
- Current County growth management initiative encouraging rural preservation and water quality result in low density development which does not support affordable housing production.
- The need for affordable housing went up 27% between 2002 and 2007. Private industry workers have experienced as much as an 18% decrease in housing choice (at the lower pay grades) and government employees as much as 26%.
- Retiring Baby Boomers on fixed incomes will increase the need for affordable housing over the next 25 years. In 2007, for example, the mean income of seniors 65 to 74 was $37,965.
- According to the NC State Data center, Chatham County can expect to experience a strong net in-migration for the next 20 years due to strong job markets in the Triangle Region.
Finally, the Chatham County Affordable Housing Task Force has consistently recognized the need for creating infill development and affordable rental and owner-occupied housing in the municipalities of Chatham County — especially Pittsboro.