Harrisonburg City Council was presented with the key findings from last year's housing study on Tuesday.
Along with those key points, the city was given recommendations on how the city can loosen the housing strain.
The truth of the matter is thousands of Harrisonburg residents live in homes that don't line up with their income level, and the ongoing demand for student housing adds pressure by pricing out nonstudent households.
You can read all the nuts and bolts in Ian Munro's stories leading up to, and including, Tuesday night's presentation.
But the one thing that did catch our eye: "The cost of living in Harrisonburg is rising faster than wages and income, and the growth in low-wage jobs increases the demand for affordable housing," said Jessica Lurz, housing and community development specialist at Mullin and Lonergan, the consulting firm hired by the city to do the study.
This results in a "vicious cycle," she said, which cannot be solved simply by building more housing.
Attracting good-paying jobs and providing workforce training was the No. 2 recommendation from the study, behind urging the city to hire a housing coordinator.
So, that leads to the question: What can the city do?
We hope the city will take a long, hard look at the study it commissioned. Because affordable housing in our borders is desperately needed. So, too, are higher-paying jobs.
Yet Harrisonburg can ill afford to leave those who work lower-wage jobs behind.
It's an unenviable task, for sure. But it's the kind of task City Council members are elected to do — look long and look hard.