This article explores the question of what can bring young people back to rural areas like Buckingham, Cumberland, Farmville, and Prince Edward in Virginia. While many ideas have been suggested, such as more recreational options or banning metallic mining, the author argues that affordable housing is the key factor that is often overlooked.
The author highlights the fact that college graduates, who may be interested in moving back to their hometowns, need housing options that they can afford. These young adults often start their careers with entry-level jobs and lower salaries. The average entry-level salary in Virginia is $16.61 per hour, which may not be enough to comfortably cover the expenses of homeownership in today’s market.
The article includes data from Zillow, indicating that the median home price in Farmville is $257,500. This price point is out of reach for many adults in their 30s and 40s, let alone recent college graduates. Therefore, the author suggests that offering affordable rental options is crucial in attracting young adults back to these rural areas.
However, discussions around affordable housing often face resistance, with some viewing it as a negative concept. The author emphasizes the importance of being realistic about what price point young adults can afford. If the cost of living, including rent, leaves very little disposable income, it becomes challenging to convince them to move to a community.
In conclusion, the article asserts that affordable housing is a vital aspect of attracting young people back to rural areas. By offering rental options that align with the financial realities of recent college graduates, communities can create an environment that is conducive to their return.
– Affordable housing: Housing options that are priced at a level that is affordable for individuals or families with low to moderate incomes.
– Zillow Home Value Index: A tool that provides information about home values and trends in the real estate market.
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