CHAMBERSBURG – The Franklin County Commissioners have released the results of a detailed evaluation and inventory of housing across Franklin County.
The findings provide a clearer picture of the county’s current housing landscape as well as predictions for what housing needs may arise in the future based on demographic data and projections for continued growth in the region.
The Housing Assessment for Franklin County is the result of a 13-month study led by the Shippensburg University Center for Land Use and Sustainability in partnership with the Franklin County Planning Department. It marks the first time the county has conducted a housing assessment of this detail.
“Due to Franklin County’s growth in terms of population, housing, economics and employment over the last 10 years, the timing was right to capture a ‘snapshot in time’ of our housing stock,” said Steve Thomas, director of the Franklin County Planning Department. “That snapshot will provide a benchmark that future efforts and initiatives can be measured against to determine success and positive community impact.”
The Housing Assessment for Franklin County incorporates key data – including demographics, the local economy, the current housing supply, and real estate market statistics – as well as information and interviews from stakeholders in the Franklin County housing ecosystem. While the analysis shows that housing trends in Franklin County are reflective of wider national trends, the study highlights several policy recommendations for consideration:
- promote the development of more affordable home options;
- improve housing options for specific populations, such as the elderly, individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities, those facing mental health challenges, and the formerly incarcerated; and
- continue efforts to address homelessness.
“This study is not a public housing playbook. Instead, the study identifies opportunities for private developers to build or renovate houses or apartments to suit the needs of our growing communities,” said Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller. “The main takeaway from this study for me is that having a broad array of places for people to call home is essential to continuing to retain and attract workers to keep our economy moving forward.”
The Housing Assessment for Franklin County can be found in its entirety on the Franklin County Planning Department’s webpage, https://bit.ly/3Pafwa9. A story map summary of the report can also be found on the department’s page.
The Franklin County Planning Department will incorporate data from the assessment into its update of the county’s comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan, Imagine Franklin 2035, will identify and prioritize the county’s strategic goals and objectives and will serve as a blueprint for the county to address opportunities and build upon existing community assets in the years to come. For more information on Imagine Franklin 2035, visit compplan.franklinpa.gov.