Members of the Greater Anna Chamber of Commerce heard about the importance and growth of the city’s housing market at the Chamber’s regular Third Tuesday Lunch on July 18. Shirletta Best, community services administrator for the Housing and Community Development in McKinney, did a presentation over “Housing, community growth and planning — a look to the future of Anna, Texas.”

Best started out the meeting by asking the guests to finish the statement, “Anna is what?” To which Lisa Biddle, a member of the chamber replied “Anna is family.” After a few more guests agreed, Best said the community of Anna has excellent growth and is prime for young families searching for a forever home.

“Anna’s future includes planned park systems, and 85 acres for economic development,” Best said.

She also pointed out that Anna has a friendly atmosphere and a small-town feel.

Even though Anna has a home-town atmosphere, it is expected to stay on a rapid growth course for the next few years.

“Anna is expected to grow at a rate of 1,000 people per year,” Best said.

Best then started discussing housing and what it means for a community. She shared that defines housing as a “basic human need and one of the most physically identifiable and important features of a community.”

“In order to remain competitive in a region’s housing market and prosper, Anna must offer a balanced mix of housing types and styles to meet the needs and market demands of current and future residents,” the website said.

Best said that like all growing cities, Anna has a vision. It is to have economic and community development, city planning and a strong parks and recreation system, but the city must make sure it includes all types of people.

“You have to make sure to incorporate fair housing choices in the city planning, also,” Best said. “Fair housing is the right to choose housing free from unlawful discrimination.”

Fair housing is the law, but it enhances city planning and development, economic development, workforce retention, relocation efforts and population growth. Best said community reinvestment helps the city in more ways than one.

“When people feel welcomed in a community, commitment will follow to attract diverse and talented workforce to sustain and grow a community,” Best said.

Best ended the presentation by informing the members of the different resources that are available to assist with fair housing;, North Texas Fair Housing Center, and Legal Aid of North Texas to name a few.