BIPARTISAN POCONO ISSUES
Did you know currently there are only 300 houses for sale in Monroe county where before Covid there were thousands? Average rent in the last year has gone from $900-$1400 up to $1800-$2500 in the Poconos. Did you know the average price of aluminum metal and other building materials have gone up 35% and more in the last year?
ISSUE AT HAND:
One of the biggest challenges we face is competition. Let's face it, we are popular, the Poconos is the place to escape when you're experiencing a worldwide pandemic. Besides skyrocketing prices on rent, homes are being sold way over asking price and crushing the dreams of locals wanting to buy in the area. Airbnbs are becoming the latest get-rich idea to hit the Poconos in decades. So how do we compete? Well, this is a tough one because we have to realize there is a new area developing and that our middle class is quickly becoming the working poor of tomorrow.
BENEFITS & SOLUTIONS:
A balanced approach is key to unlocking the solutions to this complex problem we are facing. First, we must make sure that agencies backed by HUD are available to get the resources out to those in need. By working with Habitat for Humanity, we can connect those that need help with keeping people in their homes. We can balance the wave of Airbnbs by ensuring that they pay their fair share of hotel taxes. This would then aid in regulating their business model and relieve the stress placed on local services. Balancing so they may survive as well and not abandon investments that will become the next wave of foreclosures in our area. Special incentives for those that develop affordable housing projects that benefit all. We have to address this issue along with new ideas to create a stronger tax base in order to relieve the stress put on our homes.