Living in a city is better for your happiness levels than living in a rural location, according to studies. Cities tend to be more expensive, though. But you haven’t got to worry about that in Roanoke as the cost of living in the city is almost 20% below the national average. So, what’s it like to live in a city as affordable as Roanoke and is it as good as it’s made out to be?
Why is Roanoke so affordable?
Many things that make Roanoke an affordable city to live in. Electricity bills are more than 12% lower than the national average. In Roanoke, residents pay an average of 13.46 cents per kilowatt hour, whereas the national average is 15.34 cents per kilowatt hour. Homes are also around 16% cheaper in Roanoke than the US average. Affordable housing is a priority in the city and it was recently revealed that Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority will receive $4,824,916.00 to develop more affordable accommodation for the residents of Roanoke.
Living in Roanoke with a disability
13% of Roanoke’s population lives with a disability. Roanoke is making some impressive movements to help its disabled citizens. At the start of April, Roanoke City Council announced that it planned to allow disabled individuals to park in any space in the city for up to 10 hours per day free of charge, so long as they have the correct license plates. This is good news for the disabled population, many of whom find it tough with a minimal income.
Many people with disabilities apply for SSD or SSDI to top up their income. But 80% of claims are initially rejected. As a result, they have to go to court to appeal their SSD or SSDI decision. Knowing that they can park easily, free of charge, and for as long as the hearing takes, will be a big weight off these people’s minds. So, let’s hope that it gets the go-ahead soon.
Minimum wage increase
On New Year’s Day, Virginia increased its minimum wage by $1, meaning it now sits at $12. This is good news for workers in Roanoke, although it’s a long way off the $15 minimum wage that President Joe Biden has called for. It’s also concerning for small businesses in the city. Martin’s Downtown and the Sidecar restaurant point out the recent minimum pay increase pushes costs up. The company adds that these costs are eventually passed on to customers. Meanwhile, local TV station WDBJ reports that employees may have their hours cut so that they don’t have to be paid more than they were before the wage increase was introduced.
Roanoke has long been an affordable city, which explains why its population has steadily increased in recent years. Living standards are generally good in the area and a lot is being done to make life better for locals. But, the main concern right now is how the minimum wage increase will affect people.