Home ownership is the bedrock of the American dream and a state lawmaker said he’s concerned Missouri’s tight housing market has prevented some people from reaching that dream.

State Representative Louis Riggs, R-Hannibal, said Riggs said he wants to come up with a strategic plan to boost housing options across Missouri. Riggs plans to hold town halls statewide soon to talk about how to move forward.

State Rep. Louis Riggs (R-Hannibal) speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on March 9, 2020 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

“Over the last five to 10 years, with the explosion of these prices and houses now we’ve got interest rates that are arcing upwards. We don’t know for how long. There is a real problem with folks out there getting these starter homes. That’s the bedrock of the American dream right there – home ownership. I’m fearful that we have put things out of reach for folks,” he said.

He said there are thousands of low-income housing units around Missouri that will also be moving into a market rate structure within the next decade.

Riggs wants to put an emphasis on rehabbing existing housing, instead of bulldozing them and building new ones. In order to attract more people to Missouri and expand businesses, he said they have to have somewhere to live.

“Some of these are the problem you want to have, which is too many people wanting to come into a particular area because it’s doing great stuff. It’s a great place to live. The schools are fantastic. It’s the type of thing you build communities around and you sustain those communities for the next generation or two. Everyone should have that opportunity,” he said. “Look at the railroads and all the various networks. Missouri is the geographic hub of all of this. But at the same time, how do we basically engineer that future that has no limits? We’re going to be able to house people – we’re going to be able to afford people their slice of the American dream.”

He said he’s still working on dates and places for the town halls.

To listen to the Show Me Today interview with state Representative Louis Riggs, click below (23:05).

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