Mapping out the cost According to data provided by the Collin County Association of Realtors, homes in the 75024 ZIP code, where the Legacy West development is, have seen the greatest increase in median sales price since 2017. The 75074 ZIP code has seen the smallest increase during that period.
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a home in the city. “It is a dilemma because even the housing stock that’s being [devel- oped] is going to be so much more expensive than that same home or townhome or an apartment would have been 10 years ago,” Mayor John Muns said. “So what could have worked [then] is now unaffordable.” Muns said it is important that the city maintains Plano’s high-quality neighborhoods and living standards while also finding more ways to make it a place where teachers, firefighters and police officers, or those earning similar incomes, can own homes. A Harvard University study states that 30% of total household income is rec- ommended for housing-related costs. Plano ISD’s fiscal year 2021-22 budget shows the starting teacher salary is $56,000 for those with a bachelor’s degree. A Plano police recruit starts at $70,555, the city’s website states. “I have been struggling for the last 20 years trying to figure out how to get teachers and police [officers] to live in Plano,” Muns said. According to the housing trends report, the share of commuters—as opposed to Plano residents—who make up the city’s workforce is likely to continue growing. “We are doing our best to come up with some solutions,” Muns said. “It is not easily solvable.” Taking action Many of those solutions come from federal housing assistance funds, city programs and grant money distrib- uted by Plano’s Neighborhood Ser- vices Department. The department is tasked with creating suitable liv- ing environments, providing decent housing and expanding economic opportunities for Plano citizens as part of its 2021-22 Action Plan. The plan is prepared annually for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. During itsMay 9meeting, City Coun- cil approved a resolution to amend the value limits set by HUD for its Home Investment Partnerships Program in Plano. That federal program provides funds to local governments to increase housing affordability for low-income residents. The program states the funds cannot be used to assist with the purchase or repair of a home worth more than $285,000, but that limit can be raised. Council voted to increase that limit for Plano to $418,000, a figure
Percent increase of sales price of homes from 2017-22 30%-40% 41%-50% 51%-60% 61%-70%
These figures show the change in median sales prices of homes across all of Plano’s ZIP codes.
SOURCE: COLLIN COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Incomes across Plano While Plano’s median household income has steadily increased per year, officials say many residents are struggling to afford a home within the city. A Harvard University study recommends 30% of household income should be used for housing-related costs.
federal funding or programs, such as the city’s Great Update Rebate, is a priority for the department, she said. The rebate program gives tax incen- tives to some of the owners of older houses in Plano if they invest in ren- ovations and improvements to their properties. “When people are wanting to move here, we want them to have housing that is up to current market demand,” Schwarz said. The housing affordability issue in Plano and the entire Dallas-Fort Worth region, she said, is not as sim- ple as just building cheaper units. “Construction costs right now have risen,” Schwarz said. “That has affected general housing affordability for everyone.” Increasing demand Kimberly Woodard, a Realtor with Ebby Halliday in Plano, said the city is known among prospective home- owners for its quality school system, safety and thriving business sector. Woodard said the COVID-19 pandemic saw many residents across the coun- try moving to Plano. “When people started working more from home … they could work wherever. We started seeing a lot of companies relocating to Plano,” Woodard said. “So, there is a combi- nation of things.” Officials with the North Central Texas Council of Governments have estimated that between 40-80 people are moving to Collin County every day.
Median income across Plano
$102,030 $109,397 $118,725
$70,345 $75,077 $79,627
SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
determined by local real estate data, city documents state. In total, the city will use about $2 million in federal funds this year to assist low- to moderate-income res- idents with housing-related costs. Shanette Eaden, neighborhood ser- vices housing and community ser- vices manager, said the department tries to do as much good as it can with the available funds. “In total, that is not a lot of money, but it’s the most amount of money that any city in Collin County gets,” she said. Eaden said a variety of market fac- tors have contributed to the city’s housing affordability issues.
“What we realized when looking at the [housing study] is people are coming,” she said. “We have the land; we have opportunities, great eco- nomic development [and] businesses … and we aren’t building as fast as they are coming.” Eaden said Plano has an older hous- ing stock with many homes being built over 25 years ago and needing upgrades. She said residents who live in these homes are often at retirement age and on fixed incomes. Lori Schwarz, the city’s director of neighborhood services, said there is not much room left in Plano to build new housing. Conserving the affordability of existing units through
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