San Antonio is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
The affordability of housing in the city is one of the biggest factors. Ask any of the thousands of Texans that have fled the other major cities of the Lone Star State as rents soared, and homeownership became out of reach for everyday workers.
Our neighbors' horror stories about the insane prices they pay have made us shiver and serve as a warning. Now, the Alamo City has begun to see the effects of these problems.
The city's future growth and prosperity depends, in part, on its ability to solve the current housing shortage.
There are some fundamental issues that the city cannot solve on its own. The skilled labor needed to build stick-and frame housing is becoming more expensive. Basic building materials are also more expensive and scarcer.
There are still solutions to be found.
Ramzi Abou Ghalioum, the reporter who covers this week's issue, shows that companies of all sizes are trying to solve the problem. Prefabricated homes and dense developments with small footprints, built using 3D printing, are becoming viable and profitable options. There are still roadblocks.
At my age, I can honestly say that living in a tiny home like the ones featured in this issue is not for me. The small footprints and simplistic design immediately attracted younger staff. I know some older people will sneer, but is this really so different from the shotgun style homes popular in the early twentieth century?
We need to be more open-minded when it comes to alternative construction methods if we want San Antonio workers to have an affordable place of work.
To solve the growing affordability issue, zoning must be changed, neighbors convinced, and homebuilders innovative. But help is coming.