Presenters

Morgan WhiteFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

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Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Paul McDaniel

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Cherokee County, home to over 250,000 residents, and within the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area, is one of the fastest growing counties in Georgia. In addition to a rapidly growing population, Cherokee county has also seen an increase in the median household income. According to Census Bureau Data, median household income in the county has increased from 66,320 in 2010 to 82,740 in 2020. Along with rising incomes, the cost of housing in Cherokee County has also increased. Unfortunately, for many residents this disproportionate increase in housing prices has outpaced the gains in household income. In 2020 an estimated 6.7 percent or over 17,000 residents were still living at or below federal poverty levels. Additionally, residents in many of the areas with the highest levels of poverty are spending a higher percentage of their incomes on housing costs. As residents in a suburban area, those in Cherokee County living at or near poverty levels face unique challenges when compared to those living in more urban areas. This represents a common shift in the US, where there is an observed increase in poverty levels outside of urban centers toward suburban areas. This project examines the effects of this growing affluent area and its rising home costs on those residents living with low to moderate incomes. Some of the challenges specific to this suburban area that this study considers are affordable housing, availability of public transportation, food deserts in suburban areas, and access to community resources. By understanding the locations and characteristics of these small yet significant populations, the specific needs of these residents can be assessed and hopefully addressed in efficient and targeted methods.

Disciplines

Human Geography

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Challenges of Affordable Housing Amid Growing Affluence in Cherokee County, GA

Cherokee County, home to over 250,000 residents, and within the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area, is one of the fastest growing counties in Georgia. In addition to a rapidly growing population, Cherokee county has also seen an increase in the median household income. According to Census Bureau Data, median household income in the county has increased from 66,320 in 2010 to 82,740 in 2020. Along with rising incomes, the cost of housing in Cherokee County has also increased. Unfortunately, for many residents this disproportionate increase in housing prices has outpaced the gains in household income. In 2020 an estimated 6.7 percent or over 17,000 residents were still living at or below federal poverty levels. Additionally, residents in many of the areas with the highest levels of poverty are spending a higher percentage of their incomes on housing costs. As residents in a suburban area, those in Cherokee County living at or near poverty levels face unique challenges when compared to those living in more urban areas. This represents a common shift in the US, where there is an observed increase in poverty levels outside of urban centers toward suburban areas. This project examines the effects of this growing affluent area and its rising home costs on those residents living with low to moderate incomes. Some of the challenges specific to this suburban area that this study considers are affordable housing, availability of public transportation, food deserts in suburban areas, and access to community resources. By understanding the locations and characteristics of these small yet significant populations, the specific needs of these residents can be assessed and hopefully addressed in efficient and targeted methods.

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