What can be done to address health concerns? What have others done?

Local Officials

Quality of Life—Economic Impacts   

If your community is experiencing housing shortages brought about by project-related population influx, one option is to consider reaching out to the operators to identify mutually beneficial solutions (see Box 16. Case Study:  Employee Housing). Other potential options for maintaining an adequate supply of affordable housing in the context of shale development were offered in a 2011 study by the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development at Wilkes University. 1 According to the institute, local officials could work with local, state, and regional stakeholders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, to consider establishing or promoting:

  • rental ordinances requiring rental registrations and rent stabilization programs.
  • land banking, or a public- or privately-funded effort to purchase foreclosed, run down, or abandoned properties; rehabilitate; and resell them. This effort would ideally take place across several counties and would aim to maintain property values and a supply of affordable housing, among other goals.
  • housing trust funds to provide financial assistance to low-income homebuyers or renters.
  • community development corporations, or nonprofit organizations that pool funding from multiple public and private donor sources and apply it to local housing problems. Strategies can include purchasing, developing, and renovating residential and commercial properties as affordable housing units and/or offering loan assistance to low-income families.
  • zoning codes that encourage affordable housing development (e.g., mixed use development/redevelopment/infill, high-density development, and inclusionary zoning).  

Notes:

  1. Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development, “Impact on Housing in Appalachian Pennsylvania as a Result of Marcelllus Shale” (Wilkes Barre, PA:  November 2011).