When it comes to housing in Goochland, we have a problem.
Or do we?
As with so many things in life, I suppose it depends on whom you ask. If you happen to be among those who do not struggle to afford a home that meets your family’s needs, you may be of the opinion that everything is just fine. For you and your family, having a safe, well-built home in Goochland may seem like the most normal thing in the world, the end result of a goal achieved with hard work and good planning.
For others, however, having a place to call home here is likely to remain a dream.
According to a recent study conducted as part of the Housing GVA initiative, a significant number of Goochland residents are considered cost-burdened when it comes to housing, meaning that they spend at least 30 percent of their income on their mortgage or rent each month.
Those facing housing issues include seniors, minority residents and young professionals who don’t yet earn enough to afford to live in Goochland, were the median home prices are currently among the highest in the region.
Sadly, the term “affordable housing” has become something of a lightning rod term in recent years. Few would come right out and say that they think lower-income earners should live where they can afford to live and leave the nicer places like Goochland, with its bucolic charm, excellent school system and low crime rate, to those who have somehow earned the right to be here. And yet I have heard this same sentiment — albeit worded in a different way—again and again.
Just two quick thoughts on that. Perhaps those who oppose or do not prioritize affordable housing have somehow developed a skewed image of just who the people who could use such options are, and what they would bring to the community.
Also, some hard working people currently priced out of living in Goochland might humbly suggest that the county is missing out on some pretty great people, those who work hard, mow their lawns, love their kids and just want to put down roots in a safe, peaceful thriving community.
Over the next several weeks, the Gazette will be exploring several facets of the recent housing study, taking a closer look at the current situation in Goochland and how it impacts our residents.
Whether your family has lived in Goochland for generations or you are among those still searching for a secure foothold here, I hope you’ll consider sharing your thoughts with us.
There may be no perfect solution to the ongoing housing challenges in this community, but that shouldn’t prevent us from helping as many people as possible create their own road home.