Affording housing in North Texas is becoming pretty tricky. Actually, downright impossible for some.

The City of McKinney is well aware that home prices have skyrocketed so much that getting into a new home is becoming a bigger reach for more and more people. Just last month, the average median home sold for $475,000 in Collin County.

While it may seem like an uphill battle for many, there are a host of things that are available to homeowners today to help.

Housing and Urban Development — or HUD — defines affordable housing as any housing that is affordable to a household earning 80 percent or less of the area median income.

For McKinney, 80% of the area median income for 2021 for a family of four is $71,200.

“From our viewpoint, there is a difference between affordable housing and balanced housing,” said Janay Tieken, Housing and Community Development Manager for the City of McKinney.

So, what is balanced housing? Tieken said balanced housing has a variety of price points throughout the city, so it’s not just focused on lower income housing.

Julie Williams, who runs Texas Property Sisters with her partner Monica Szewczyk, served as the chair of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors last year when they took up the topic of balanced housing as one of the Chamber’s top strategic focuses.

She said the issue of balanced housing is having a big impact on the business community.

“We have a lot of employers who are struggling to hire and retain workers, and one of the biggest reasons why is because there aren’t enough places for those workers to live in the immediate area,” Williams said.

The home affordability issue isn’t one that just impacts people who are young or new to the workforce or trying to purchase their new home, Williams explained.

“Our goal is not to only support our (Chamber) members who need to hire people and keep them here,” she said. “It’s important that in every stage of your life that you can have a place to live, whether you are just starting out, your family is growing or you are a senior citizen.”

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