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Open jobs sit unfilled for months at a time in McKinney, Texas (19.24% Latino). Retail, restaurants, and construction businesses can’t find workers.
The people who can fill those jobs can’t afford to live in McKinney—the average home price is $340,000.
“Just think about the salary it takes to afford a house like that, and then to maintain it. You just can’t do it,” McKinney Mayor George Fuller told Channel 5 NBC. “You can get a job, but you can’t afford housing.”
Affordable housing is a rising need in many large and growing cities across the nation.
San Antonio, for example, recently started an affordable housing task force to address its own shortage. San Antonio City Council member Shirley Gonzales is leading a push in her district, too. Heck, even Eva Longoria is chipping in.
In McKinney, there is a stark shortage of affordable housing.
Fuller believes the city needs a balance of “mixed affordable housing.” In recent years, proposals to build affordable housing have not received a lot of community support.
“A common theme you’ll hear in McKinney is: They’re tired of driving to [nearby cities] to go to restaurants and entertainment. But when we come to affordable housing, there is a resistance,” Fuller told Channel 5 NBC. “We have to work with developers and we have to find areas…all around the city where we can build more affordable housing.”
Also, commuting is an issue. McKinney has no public transportation, amid the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
“I’m worried that the economy will be impacted,” Fuller said. “Some [business owners] have told me, if we don’t find a solution they will take their companies outside of McKinney. Not because they don’t love it here, but because we do have the people for staffing.”