North Texas

Lack of Affordable Housing Has Ripple Effect on Jobs: McKinney Mayor

A labor shortage in McKinney is shining the light on a bigger problem in North Texas: Business owners have been posting ads for months, hoping to fill vacant positions.

"This problem has been going on for a few years, but it's getting worse because housing prices continue to rise," McKinney Mayor George Fuller explained.

Fuller said the root of the problem is affordable housing.

"Retail companies, restaurants, construction, the manufacturing industry; they are all looking to hire," said Fuller. "You can get a job, but you can't afford housing. The average price for a home in McKinney 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."

He believes there needs to be a balance of mixed affordable housing within the city. In the past, the proposal to build has received pushed back.

"A common theme you'll here in McKinney is they're tired of driving to Frisco, Allen and other cities to go to restaurants and entertainment, but when we come to affordable housing, there is a resistance," Fuller explained. "We have to work with developers and we have to find areas, not just concentrated areas, but all around the city where we can build more affordable housing."

Transportation also compounds the issue. Living outside of the city and commuting to work could be a problem if you do not have a vehicle, and McKinney does not have a public transportation system. Finding a solution may be difficult, but according to Mayor Fuller, it is necessary.

"I'm worried that the economy will be impacted," said Fuller. "Some 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."

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