We are pleased to launch the “A+ Homes” initiative as we work to implement Landscapes3 and its housing recommendations. A joint effort of the Planning Commission, Department of Community Development, and Housing Choices Committee, A+ Homes focuses on creating homes that are attractive, affordably-priced, adaptable, aging-friendly, and accessible. Every person needs and deserves a place to come home to – a place that provides them shelter and comfort, a place where they feel part of the community.
What are A+ Homes?
- Attractive: Designed, constructed, and maintained to be compatible with local community character.
- Affordably-priced: Available at attainable sale and rental prices; no more than 30 percent of household income should be spent on housing related costs.
- Adaptable: Able to evolve with market forces, changing demographics, buyer and renter preferences, and environmental conditions.
- Aging-friendly: Able to meet the diverse needs of seniors.
- Accessible: Connected to jobs, services, transit, amenities, and important community facilities.
Throughout the development of Landscapes3 it was clear that our residents’ needs for the place they call home are changing. Adult children of county residents are finding it hard to afford to live in the county, and businesses are having trouble attracting and retaining workers due to the price of housing. Our senior population and the number of single person households are increasing, creating a specific need for adaptable and accessible homes, along with the desire for smaller homes that are affordable for people living alone or on a fixed income. Increasingly residents are prioritizing access to jobs and amenities, and choosing location over square footage or acreage.
Chester County’s existing housing stock is not currently meeting these changing needs and the growing population. There are not enough units to meet the general demand, particularly for projections of population growth, and the existing homes may not match up to resident needs due to size, price, design, location, or accessibility issues.
A+ Homes calls for supportive policy, innovative design and regulation, and partnerships between community stakeholders. Our kick-off event on creating A+ Homes will be held from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Westminster Presbyterian Church (10 W. Pleasant Grove Road, West Chester). The focus of the event will be new residential designs, policies for affordably-priced homes, and housing tools for municipalities. Ray D’Agostino, chief executive officer of Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, and Brian Phillips, an architect with Interface Studio Architects, will be the keynote speakers followed by a presentation on tools for municipalities and a panel discussion. Please join us to jump-start the creation of A+ Homes in Chester County! Register online today.