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Hampton city council, HRHA looking at strategies to improve increase homeownership

The number of people who own homes in Hampton has diminished over the years. Leaders came together to drum up strategies on how to improve housing.

HAMPTON, Va. — Housing is a great need for everyone, including Hampton. City leaders said it's an issue they need to deal with now. 

They're looking towards the future and trying to determine what kind of homes are needed in the city to increase homeownership.

City Council members and the Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority are coming up with strategies to improve the housing stock. They said there's an aging housing stock right now and limited land.

“As your population changes, you need to look at whether your housing meets the needs of the folks living there and do you have the housing to attract people,” Councilwoman Eleanor Brown said. “It's very important to us that we continue to respond to the needs for housing in our community.”

The group is looking at the housing market between single-family homes and multi-family homes.

A housing update study by the Housing Authority and Hampton Community Development Department shows homeownership has gone down while the number of people who rent has gone up.

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The data shows, overall, 55% of homes are owned. (Owners could be single people, couples with children, empty-nesters, widows, multigenerational, etc.)

City council member Eleanor Brown said the housing stock represents the largest part of the city's tax base.

“We want to make sure we have housing units in the right places, meeting the needs and also we can respond to people living here,” Brown said.

Leaders are exploring different programs to improve housing in the city, including grants, vouchers and incentive programs.

Interim HRHA Director Aaru Maat says people should be encouraged.

“We want to make sure we're on the right track, and if we're not, how do we get on the right track,” Maat said. “I think today what we’re realizing is that there’s a market for more multi-family housing.”

You can view the presentation here.