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Study Finds Five Impediments to "Fair Housing Choice" in Rome

10/28/13 9:00 P.M.

By: Kevin Karel (WRGA News)

The Rome City Commission voted unanimously to approve analysis done on the city’s ability of impediments to fair housing choice, allowing for the continuation of federal grant money from HUB.

During caucus before entering into a regular meeting Monday night the Commission heard from a representative with WFN Consulting. The study concluded Rome has a total of five impediments to fair housing choice including a “limited supply of decent, accessible and affordable housing” as well as “uneven distribution of community resources.” Rome Community Development Committee Chairman Kim Canada took issue with the study’s sample size;

“The requirement with HUD doesn’t say you’re required to meet them all other than objectively start looking at remediation of them, and of course as a city we’re always looking at it. The downside of that is that survey there was only something like 187 people surveyed which is a very low percentage number of the total population of the city of Rome.”   

The study concluded that in a family with a single income, a minimum wage employee would have to work 83 hours per week to afford to rent a two bedroom apartment in Rome, and ensure that their housing cost did not exceed 30% of their household income.

Stated plainly by Rome City Manager John Bennett, the issue remains there isn’t enough money to fix the problems with affordable housing at this time.

The study determined the Rome City government could not relieve the community’s fair housing issues by itself but must become a facilitator with non-profits and private groups to address the problem.