Owner-occupied housing in Marietta rose from 8,996 in 2000 to 9,750 in 2010. By the same token, renter-occupied housing declined from 14,899 units in 2000 to 13,315 in 2010.
Jeff and Amanda Denney and their 2-year-old son, Bennett, moved into a two-story, four-bedroom home in Brown’s Park off Whitlock Avenue last Saturday.
The couple, who had been renting a home in east Cobb, said Harry Norman Realtor Suzie Crowe found the perfect spot for them.
“We love the Square,” Amanda Denney said. “We have a lot of friends in the area that love it, and it gives Ben a lot of kids his age in the neighborhood as well. We love Kennesaw Mountain, so to have closer access to that is fantastic, and just to be really closer to the interstate, to be honest with you.”
The Marietta Housing Authority contributed to the shift from renters to owners when it demolished four federal housing projects in the city during that time — Johnny Walker Homes, Clay Homes, Lyman Homes and Boston Homes — eliminating 482 housing units.
The city also bought and razed the blighted 200-unit Preston Chase apartment complex on Franklin Road last year to use as parkland.
Mayor Steve Tumlin said he would still like a better balance between homeowners and renters. More homeowners typically means less density and a higher average income level, he said.
“It all goes to average income level,” Tumlin said. “As we raise that, we attract better places, which also brings better jobs. People that could go anywhere in the country or anywhere in the state look at statistics, and if you want to build a LongHorn (Steakhouse) here or an Apple store, you would look at the average income, and that’s why they go to places like The Avenues (in east and west Cobb).”
In the 56,579-resident city of Marietta, median income is $45,428, compared to Cobb’s second largest city, Smyrna, where the median income for its 51,271 residents is $55,468.
The 688,078 resident county as a whole has a median income of $66,515.
“Non-incorporated Cobb obviously has more single family,” Tumlin said. “We don’t have the $2 million houses in Marietta, which probably means they’re pretty good incomes.”
Countywide, homeownership rose from 155,055 units in 2000 to 173,965 units in 2010. Unlike Marietta, Cobb’s renter-occupied housing also rose from 72,432 to 86,091 units over the 10-year span.
Although the housing projects have been razed, Tumlin said Marietta still has “a lot” of Section 8 housing in the city, which contributes to the lower income average.
“They’re not going to put a Section 8 house person in a $2.4 million house,” he said. “The cities tend to have probably, on average, lower income. It’s part of our beauty. A little bit for everybody.”
While Smyrna has fewer residents than Marietta, it has more owner-occupied housing, rising from 9,209 in 2000 to 12,068 in 2010.
“I obviously can’t speak for every single household, but they probably work in the Galleria, Cumberland, the Atlanta and Buckhead area, which are the higher paying jobs,” Tumlin said.