Housing issues at forefront of Bowling Green local elections

In a recent Daily News article "Census data show local growth, challenges", Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon said, "It is gratifying to see we are growing. Industry recruitment and workforce development have been a major focus of the local officials in recent years." Mayor Bruce Wilkerson said, “As a community, we have worked together to that goal and we are making progress thanks to the efforts of city, county and state government."

Job growth alone is not enough to benefit our community. Local officials need to be mindful of other aspects related to this growth. As a long-time resident of Bowling Green/Warren County, I am seeing a shortfall in our growth plan. It is difficult if not impossible for the individual workers attracted by the new jobs to find affordable, quality and safe housing.

Apartment and house rents/payments require as much as 50% of their total income which doesn't leave them enough for their basic needs. Financial market recommends housing be no more than 30% of household income. Most available housing is too expensive due to zoning size requirements and a focus on luxury living. Community financial health is assured when individual's spending is balanced over the total economy.

Recently I had the privilege of attending an Affordable Housing presentation offered by a group from Lexington who is addressing this same issue. Valuable information was provided in this forum focusing on solutions for our needs for affordable housing. Noticeably there were very few representatives from our local officials as well as candidates who are running for election to our local government.

Our local officials need to recognize and take action for our need for affordable housing through favorable zoning regulations and incentives to developers to create housing that will help sustain the growth of our community.

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