City leaders committed to affordable housing as pricey community comes to Huntsville

In Madison County, those with big bucks will be moving into a new sprawling development in south Huntsville.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:02 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2023 at 1:28 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In Madison County, those with big bucks will be moving into a new sprawling development in south Huntsville, with plans to include million-dollar homes near Grissom High School.

City leaders, local Realtors and developers all explained what this means for the city, and how it came at the right time.

Whitney Stringer, the Treasurer at the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors elaborates on the need for more homes in North Alabama.

“We’ve definitely been in a deficit when it comes to inventory the last couple of years. So we’re definitely happy to see more options on the market,” Stringer said.

It will not strictly be homes in the million-dollar range. There are existing homes from the first phase before Goodall Homes left the project as part of downsizing in the Huntsville market.

The community and commercial development at Hays Farm will include homes from the mid $400,000 range and up.

The C.E.O. of Hays Farm Homes, Lance Gilmet explains what that says about the people moving to town.

“Well, the clientele is great. The Arsenal is obviously a big draw,” Gilmet said. “The professionals, the engineers, the high tech companies that support the stuff that goes on in the Arsenal is a big part of our clientele.”

Some of the home prices come with a bit of sticker shock. City council member, Jennie Robinson explains how the city is still committed to options for everyone.

“The city is absolutely committed to affordable housing, and we have a number of projects going on, and we have some changes in policy that make it easier for developers to build affordable housing,” Robinson said. “But housing is frequently based on land costs.”

That is something Realtor and Broker Whitney Stringer understands all too well. “Well, certainly not everybody will be in that price point, but the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors is very in tune with that and we’re working directly with the city to make sure that there’s a lot of affordable options there.”

There will be commercial and recreational options for people, as well as a nine-acre city park. Having these options and all of the outdoor space is something that excites Councilwoman Robinson.

“There are over eight miles of trails that are already built into that subdivision where those houses are going to be built around these lakes and walking trails,” Robinson said. “So, it really is an exciting project. It’s one we’ve been working on for a long time.”

The developers explained they just picked up their first permit yesterday, and they’ll get started on the model home right away.

The community of more than 300 homes, however, will take around 5 to 7 years to build.

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