City officials are set to present the findings of a yearlong study on the state of affordable housing downtown Monday and will follow up with a panel discussion between major housing players about the future of housing in the city.
The event is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at Battle Academy.
Sponsored by the Chattanooga Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency, more than a dozen stakeholders are slated to participate in the event.
The discussion comes on the heels of a similar housing study presented to the City Council by members of the Westside Community Association in September.
Relying on statistics and data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the group reported that more than 53 percent of households living in the city's urban overlay zone—the area between Missionary Ridge and the Tennessee River—were considered "unaffordable" because households put more than 30 percent of their combined living income toward covering their housing costs. The report also stated that almost half of all mortgage-holding homeowners living in the zone live in unaffordable housing relative to their incomes.
The group, in partnership with Chattanooga Organized for Action, proposed that the city adopt zoning requirements that would mandate that at least one, and up to three, of every 10 new housing units built in the zone be designated for low- or moderate-income persons or families. The ordinance would also require a one-for-one replacement of any low-income housing removed for new residential developments.
The council opted to defer considering the ordinance, instead suggesting that additional members from groups interested in housing in the city assemble to discuss the topic later.