Roanoke Needs Thousands of Affordable Housing Units, Study Says. Why Does the City’s $7-Million Plan Promise 40?

Even with the record government investment, officials acknowledge it can only go so far to address Roanoke's affordable housing needs.

Habitat for Humanity is renovating a vacant home in Southeast Roanoke into affordable housing as part of a separate program using HUD funds. The city is exploring how to build more affordable housing. PHOTO BY HENRI GENDREAU FOR THE ROANOKE RAMBLER

Roanoke hopes to construct 40 new units of affordable housing in the coming years as part of an unprecedented investment of nearly $7 million in federal funds to address the issue.

But the city is short more than 3,500 affordable housing units, with one housing agency estimating the need is twice that, according to a city plan.