The competition to provide housing for workers is fierce, and Oak Ridge needs more new homes in the $180,000-$280,000 price range and more rental units in the $900-$1,200 price range, according to a housing report presented to Oak Ridge City Council by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
Also proposed in the housing report: the development of attractive, convenient mixed use gathering spaces; improving the appearance of existing neighborhoods through aggressive codes enforcement; beautification projects in public spaces to make Oak Ridge more appealing; developing and implementing a consistent “brand” for Oak Ridge that encompasses livability, economic development, and tourism; incentivizing home improvements in the Manhattan District Overlay; and developing public/private partnerships to work on housing.
The report, which was presented to City Council in a non-voting work session on Tuesday, studied where Oak Ridge employees live, based upon the zip codes of 7,372 employees from eight major Oak Ridge employers. It found that 22 percent of Oak Ridge workers live in Oak Ridge. That’s compared to 44 percent who live in Knox County, primarily in Farragut, Hardin Valley, Northshore, Karns, and Cedar Bluff.
Ten percent of the Oak Ridge workers live in Roane County, 6 percent live in Clinton, and less than five percent each live in Loudon, Blount, Morgan, and other counties, the report said.
The housing report only reviewed Oak Ridge as it compares to the five most popular communities where people who work in Oak Ridge choose to live (Farragut, Hardin Valley, Northshore, Karns, and Cedar Bluff).
“Competition for residents is fierce, and Oak Ridge competes with some of the most desirable communities in the region,” the report said. [Read more…]