Housing Conditions Study


James City County commissioned this study to survey housing conditions and to quantify housing needs related to poor condition and lack of affordable and appropriate housing options. The Virginia Center for Housing Research (VCHR) at Virginia Tech and czb, LLC teamed up to collect data, conduct data analysis and provide strategy recommendations to County staff. VCHR and czb used publicly available data from the American Community Survey and the Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS); County data including mapping data and real estate assessment data, MLS data provided by the Williamsburg Association of Realtors, CoreLogic data, as well as survey and focus group data to complete this analysis. Two surveys were conducted: a driving field survey of nearly 20,000 homes and a self-administered questionnaire. czb visually evaluated homes with the help of students from William and Mary and Virginia Tech. VCHR conducted a self-administered survey of residents with online and paper versions asking detailed questions about housing conditions. VCHR received usable responses from 50 households. Learn more about respondents. Finally, VCHR conducted 5 focus group sessions with 44 James City County residents. Learn more about attendees.

czb conducted a policy and program analysis in addition to the data analysis. czb staff reviewed County program, policy and planning documents like the James City County Comprehensive Plan and the Housing Opportunities Policy. czb evaluated the degree to which the County is poised to tackle challenges uncovered through data analysis and discussed their analysis with County staff and elected officials. czb held a half-day work session with County staff to learn about existing efforts and to collaboratively build a set of possible strategies to improve housing conditions, re-investment, and housing affordability in the County. czb has developed a set of recommendations for James City County. They are presented below.


The final results of the study are presented here. Below you’ll find links to information about James City County generated by VCHR and czb, LLC and organized by topic. Report sections provide more information about the study, summarize the findings and conclusions, and discuss recommendations for the County. Eighteen (18) interactive workbooks provide detailed information and 5 two-page topical summaries give additional, background information on topics that are important in James City County. Explore all of the information by clicking on the report sections below. Links are imbedded throughout the report and workbooks are provided for your convenience and ease of navigation. To get the most out of your time in this site, we recommend starting with the report’s first section, “Housing Orientation,” and following the links throughout the report as you feel inclined or when you desire more information.