It is becoming harder for frontline workers — such as police officers, firefighters, nurses and school teachers — who work in Gwinnett County to also live in the county.
Gwinnett County, located in the state of Georgia, has seen a significant increase in the cost of housing over the past few years. The cost of living in Gwinnett County is significantly higher than the national average, and this has made it difficult for many frontline workers to find affordable housing in the area.
Frontline workers, such as healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, and essential service providers, play a critical role in our society. They work long hours, often risking their lives to provide essential services to the community. Unfortunately, many of these workers struggle to afford decent housing in Gwinnett County.
According to a recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the average hourly wage of a frontline worker in Gwinnett County is $14.68. This is well below the average hourly wage required to afford a two-bedroom apartment in the county, which is $24.17. This means that frontline workers in Gwinnett County would need to work more than 60 hours per week to afford a decent two-bedroom apartment.
The lack of affordable housing in Gwinnett County is not just a problem for frontline workers. It also affects low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities. Many of these individuals are forced to choose between paying for housing or other basic needs like food and healthcare.
One of the primary reasons for the high cost of housing in Gwinnett County is the lack of affordable housing units. Many developers are building high-end apartments and homes that are out of reach for most people in the area. The demand for housing has also increased due to the county’s growing population, which has put further pressure on the housing market.
The county government has recognized the need for more affordable housing and has taken steps to address the issue. In 2020, the county approved a $500,000 grant to support the development of affordable housing units. The grant will provide funding for developers to build affordable housing units for low-income families and individuals.
In addition to the grant, the county is also exploring other options to increase the supply of affordable housing. This includes partnering with developers to build affordable housing units on county-owned land, providing incentives for developers to build affordable housing, and exploring zoning changes to allow for more affordable housing development.
Despite these efforts, there is still a long way to go to make housing more affordable in Gwinnett County. The county needs to continue to invest in affordable housing and work with developers to ensure that there are enough affordable units available for frontline workers and other low-income residents.
In conclusion, the cost of housing in Gwinnett County is a significant problem for frontline workers and other low-income residents. The lack of affordable housing units in the area has made it difficult for many people to find decent housing. The county government is taking steps to address the issue, but more needs to be done to make housing more affordable in the area. By working together with developers and investing in affordable housing, Gwinnett County can ensure that all residents have access to decent and affordable housing.
About one-in-three households in Gwinnett are considered ‘cost-burdened’ because they spend a third or more of their income on housing,” Armstrong said. “These trends are by no means isolated to Gwinnett. It’s occurring across the region and it’s just not sustainable.