eTools Address Chester County’s Evolving Housing Needs

When it comes to housing diversity – we might simply think of houses in various sizes, shapes, colors, and costs. What we don’t often think about is how these housing types have an impact on our communities, our environment, and even our future.  A greater diversity of housing types such as modern apartments, townhouses, condominiums, and carriage homes have popped up throughout the region in recent decades. While many of these options appeal to those who are looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle, they also help to provide housing diversity in a region which was once comprised of primarily single-family detached homes.

Although these newer developments suit the needs of many young professionals, empty nesters, and others looking to downsize, additional types of housing must be considered in order to meet the needs of everyone in Chester County.

With the cost and demand for homes increasing, housing affordability becomes a major issue for many people as well. Because of this, the Planning Commission launched the A+ Homes initiative in 2019 to help encourage a variety of affordably priced homes within our communities. Some ways to do this include creating co-living spaces (such as senior living facilities), establishing community land trusts, establishing employer assisted housing programs, creating accessory dwelling units (or secondary units), or through manufactured housing – such as mini and mobile homes.

Mobile home parks have been around for many years in Chester County, and while they’re commonly known for their affordability and convenience, they also support our aging population as single-story homes that are often located close to amenities. With the appropriate guidance and regulation, municipalities can work to maintain both affordability and community character in new mobile home parks.

As we continue to assess Chester County’s evolving housing needs, it’s important for municipalities to consider reviewing their housing policies, zoning ordinances, and regulatory documents on a regular basis in order to remain current with the housing market trends and other community needs.

To see a list of additional housing eTools, visit https://www.chescoplanning.org/Housing/Tools.cfm.

To learn more about Housing in Chester County, including the A+ Homes initiative, visit https://www.chescoplanning.org/MuniCorner/eTools/Housing.cfm.

The Planning Commission’s eTools cover a wide array of planning topics, from natural resources to economic development. The tools are easy to read, providing a quick overview of each topic, a brief explanation of how it works, and considerations for addressing the topic or regulating use. An alphabetical listing of eTools is available in our Municipal Corner.

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