Officials from Cherokee County and the cities of Woodstock, Holly Springs, Ball Ground, and Canton participated in a virtual housing summit on April 15 to discuss the findings of the county-wide housing study and to strategize for the future. A final report summarizing the process and feedback gained is planned to be released in May 2021.
To view a recording of the virtual housing summit, click here. Check out the Cherokee County Housing Summit tab to watch the recording. Please visit https://www.cherokeega.com/planning/ for more information.
The three-hour summit, hosted by the Atlanta Regional Commission, opened with a brief recap on the history of the housing study.
“While updating the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, we began receiving feedback from residents who were concerned about rising home costs,” said Cherokee County Planning Manager Margaret Stallings. “We felt a study was needed to see if we have the right mix of homes to match the needs of our residents. We then engaged our cities who were on board with conducting a county-wide study.”
The county partnered with KB Advisory Group and completed the housing study last year. The study gathered input from county residents, employees, business owners and local officials to gain insight into housing preferences in the community.
Geoff Koski, president of KB Advisory Group, presented the findings of the housing study, which found that Cherokee County needs more varied housing options in price points and size. According to the study, average new home prices increased from $265,397 in 2013 to $390,928 in 2019. Additionally, the market is showing demand for more rental property. Based on 2019 data, single-family detached homes represent 82 percent of Cherokee County’s housing stock. The remaining housing stock is divided as follows: 4 percent townhomes and attached units, 2 percent small multi-family buildings, 8 percent large multi-family complexes, and 4 percent mobile homes (which also includes trailers, RVs, and boats).
Koski cited increasing land prices and construction costs as the cause of increased new home prices in Cherokee County.
Officials were presented with several case studies from other local communities by the Georgia Conservancy. The studies offered strategies to create more housing opportunities for residents that included the use of land banks and land trusts, which could be used to transform vacant, abandoned, and tax-foreclosed property into dedicated workforce housing.