HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Housing affordability still remains a top concern for many homebuyers across the U.S. Here in Huntsville, officials are looking to provide more affordable, accessible, and homeless housing options for people.

“We’re trying to make sure we have appropriately developed apartments and single-family housing available. That just takes time to do, but most importantly we’re planning for that,” Huntsville Community Development Manager Scott Erwin said.

At the latest Huntsville City Council meeting, the 2024 fiscal year budget was amended to increase the strength of its community development department with a new full-time position – an effort spearheaded by Huntsville City Councilman Devyn Keith.

“I think we need to put together a comprehensive plan that can be led by a person, an individual…not just a number of ideas,” said Keith. 

Before the approval of the amendment, Huntsville Urban Economic Development Director Shane Davis said that Urban Economic Development is in favor of such a plan. 

Currently, the Huntsville Community Development Department Manager has to come up with a plan to address the issues surrounding affordable, accessible, and homeless housing within city limits. That plan will be presented to the city council in June 2024, so any resulting programming will be considered in the city’s 2025 budget.

“There’s a lot of pieces in this puzzle and now we’re looking for someone that can bring all those pieces together and will bring to city council a working plan with some goals and issues that we want to go for the next (probably) one, three, and five years,” added Erwin. 

Erwin tells News 19 they’re already working on the job description.

“Once the job description is developed and is appropriately graded by the Human Resources Department, hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be close to having a job description that’s able to be advertised,” Erwin said. 

Erwin says they’re planning to look locally at candidates who know the market, but they’ll also look for someone outside the area as well. He hopes to have someone hired in the first quarter of 2024.