JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WVEC) — The James City County Workforce Housing Taskforce is brainstorming strategies to expand housing options and give more options to families when it comes to housing.

Those strategies include land use and zoning, financial tools, preservation strategies, and affordable homeownership programs.

There was a housing conditions study conducted in 2016. James City County commissioned the Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR) at Virginia Tech and czb, LLC to survey housing conditions in the county.

It found that the number of households in James City County with housing affordability challenges is severe.

The study also found more than 13,000 households cannot afford to buy a home in the county and more than 5,000 cannot afford to rent.

In the area, 43 percent of homes are cost burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing. More than 3,000 of those homes are paying more than 50 percent of their income for housing.

Some people in James City County say affordable housing just isn't there. Kelsey Helmick has lived in the county almost 25 years. She said the county is building homes, but many people can't afford them.

“They constantly say we want more affordable housing but it's $1,000 a month which is ridiculous,” Helmick said. “My friends live in Newport News and commute to the area because they can't live here because it's expensive.”

The Task Force’s next meeting is November 13 at 10:00 a.m. at 101 Mounts Bay Road Building D. The meeting is open to the public.

You can read more about the Housing Conditions Study here.

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