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NEWS BRIEF: New jobs in Georgia go unfilled due to affordable housing shortage

No job. No home. No home. No job

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Photo credit: CL FILE
500 new jobs, but nowhere for the workers

It can be said that capitalism is similar to dominos. Nothing exists on its own. When one domino falls, another is affected. And another. And another. And another.

Kia Georgia higher-ups are learning this lesson the hard way. When 500 new jobs were created at the West Point, Georgia, assembly plant ahead of the release of a new vehicle, it was thought to be an easy win for the area. However, the current over-inflated housing market has made it difficult for potential Kia workers to find affordable dwellings close to their would-be place of work.

Over the last year, the US has seen a shortage of houses, causing the prices of homes to skyrocket while wages have not increased at the same rate. The open Kia positions are paying between $17 and $23 an hour. A great hourly wage a few years ago is now not enough to afford comfortable shelter.

Kia Georgia CEO Stuart Countess sat with Georgia legislatures this week to discuss possible solutions. In the meeting he said, “The housing market creates additional complications for families considering a relocation to pursue employment as we know the housing market is in an exceedingly high demand with most affordable homes in the area lasting (only) hours” on the market once offered to buyers, many times with amounts above the asking prices being paid.

One potential solution brought up was the development of company-owned housing.

The Georgia House Study Committee on Regulation, Affordability and Access to Housing plans to research possible fixes to Georgia’s affordable housing issue. georgiarecorder.com