October 12, 2022


Affordable housing topic of upcoming Georgetown Housing Initiative event

By BRIGID COOLEY 

Affordable housing and how to bring options to Georgetown will be discussed at the upcoming Workforce Housing Summit. 

Hosted by the Georgetown Housing Initiative, the event takes place 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday, October 29, at First United Methodist Church McKinney Center, 1205 Ash Street. Virtual attendance via Zoom is also available. 

“We can see by the number of help wanted signs and the number of businesses that are really suffering because of a lack of employees that [affordable housing] is needed,” GHI Board President Richard Glasco said. “Having that option isn’t a far-fetched idea, but it’s one we need to solve as a city.” 

Founded roughly four years ago, the Georgetown Housing Initiative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for affordable housing options, while also educating people about how to bring these options to the community, Mr. Glasco said. The upcoming summit will specifically focus on people in need of workforce housing.

“Young professionals, first year school teachers, brand new police officers and firemen would all fall in that category,” Mr. Glasco said. “With the affordability of housing here in Georgetown, a lot of those guys need and would take advantage of affordable options in Georgetown, rather than options at the market rate. 

“There’s evidence that when your rent takes up 30 percent or more of your monthly income, other areas of life start lacking. We want to prevent that.” 

Special guest speakers are Walter Morreau, executive director of Foundation Communities, and Cliff Snyder, chief executive officer at Tejas Housing Group.

A panel discussion from experts and organization leaders is also scheduled. Panelists include: Mark Lenhard, president & CEO at the Wesleyan; Rita Healy, general manager at the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel; Debbie Hoffman, executive director at Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County; and Kelly Moreno, director of community engagement at Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area.

Panelists and speakers will discuss different avenues available and community efforts to bring affordable housing to Georgetown and Williamson County, Mr. Glasco said. Opportunities for audience members to ask questions, suggest tactics and provide solutions they think will work within the community will be present throughout the event. 

Registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance. Reserve a spot online at www.ghi-tx.org/events. A free lunch will be provided for those who attend in-person.