Columbia wants to build more affordable homes

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COLUMBIA - Columbia is a college town full of apartments and townhouses, but it wants to start giving low-income families the chance to find affordable housing too.

The City of Columbia Housing Programs Division and Columbia Chamber of Commerce are hosting the Affordable Housing Summit on Thursday at 6 p.m. at The Atrium featuring Tony Perez, a nationally recognized expert on missing middle housing. 

Perez will address the difficulty the city has in building smaller, more affordable homes, which would serve low-income home owners and renters.

Columbia's Housing Programs Manager, Randy Cole, said this is a chance to get builders and realtors together at the same table to start making progress.

"This is just a way we can start the conversation of looking as a community, what are the barriers that our builders and developers and others are experiencing developing affordable housing," Cole said.

He said families can't find the right sized house for the right price, causing them to live in less desirable housing. More affordable homes are the answer to their problem.

"If you have good quality affordable housing that is connected to those amenities that you need for a successful life, you can set families up for success," Cole said.

He said on Wednesday that over 200 people from different background are registered for the event. Those interested in going should fill out the registration form.