Housing Needed? Focus Groups Set for Mar. 25 & 26 to Assess County's Needs
Sunday, April 14, 2019
the housing market is slowing down. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors has said, “All indications are that we have a housing shortage. If you look at population growth and job growth, it is clear that we are not producing enough houses.”
Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, has said, “The market has slowed. The market has been moving away from higher-end, higher-priced, larger homes over the last two or three years to more entry level.”
We are seeing and hearing the same thing around Dickinson County. New housing starts are minimal in the past five years. Yet, we hear from expanding businesses that the new employees they are hiring are having a difficult time finding adequate housing, mostly entry level housing. We’ve also heard the same thing from realtors.
In an effort to understand the current housing dynamics around the County, Dickinson County Economic Development Corporation (DKEDC) has engaged RDG Planning & Design (RDG) of Omaha, Nebraska to perform a community housing assessment. The Community Housing Assessment Team (CHAT) from RDG will be in the County on March 25th and 26th and will be holding focus group sessions on both days.
The public is invited to attend any of the focus group sessions being held. The focus group schedules are:
March 25th – Chapman
Indian Hills Golf Course Banquet Room, 522 Golf Course Road
9:30 am to 11:00 am and 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
March 25th – Herington
Tri-County Fair Board Building, 802 S. Broadway
3:30 pm to 5:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
March 26th – Solomon
City Hall Meeting Room, 116 W. Main Street
9:00 am to 10:30 am
March 26th – Abilene
Sterl Hall, 619 N. Rogers Street
12:45 pm to 2:15 pm and 2:15 pm to 3:45 pm
Based on the input gathered during the focus group sessions along with the information gathered from the County and Cities, RDG will present a report at a public meeting that includes a market analysis, an overview of housing challenges and assets as well as recommendations for programs and policies that might assist in addressing the housing challenges and opportunities that exist.
This effort would not be possible without the support of the Board of the Dickinson County Economic Development Corporation and our partners on this project: Westar Energy through their Local Partner Program Fund; North Central Kansas Community Network, Co. and its affiliate North Central Regional Planning Commission as a funding source using it’s Rural Business Development Tax Credit Initiative program; the Community Foundation of Dickinson County and Dickinson County.