Kansas Housing releases statewide housing needs assessment

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Kansas Housing has released its housing needs assessment for the state. Some of the key factors impacting housing in southeast kansas are housing values, low wages, housing demand, and lack of modern rental opportunities. We spoke with Pittsburg’s City Manager Daron Hall about issues his city faces.

One of the items listed for the southeast Kansas portion of the report was housing values. The report says the lower home values in southeast Kansas could make the region look very affordable, but, the report says it’s actually having the opposite effect. The low values make it challenging to build or rehabilitate a home due to the lack of comparables, meaning, other homes with newer home values. Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall says “So, if you build a new house, you get a loan to build that house based on the comps of the existing homes and if the homes are 50 years old, they’re dilapidated a little bit, there’s just not a bunch of new ones, then it’s hard to get a comp to get that building loan to build a new one.”

Another factor was the struggle with Missouri. A number of workers in southeast Kansas, Pittsburg particularly, are choosing somewhere else to call home and Daron Hall says he knows why. “The real issue is to have a place for them to live, so they can buy groceries here, most people that commute don’t buy groceries in Pittsburg and then drive back to Missouri, they’ll buy their groceries there, so, it helps everybody if we have good housing stock here and plenty of it.”

There’s another factor in convincing commuters to make southeast Kansas their permanent home, places to go relax and enjoy after a hard day’s work. Hall says they’ve been working on that through developing and enhancing city parks, but there’s other parts to that equation. “You know, having a good place to eat, a quality place to eat, something that’s a little different when you’re family does have a chance to get together, you don’t have to go to the grocery store and make it at home, you can just pop out somewhere, I think those are all a big part of having a huge impact on a family and letting them feel like Pittsburg’s a place for them.”

One of the other key issues in the report, was education resources. The report states the southeast region has the resources to train and educate the next generation of workers, but needs to continue to expand building trades programs.

There are a number of issues covered in the report that we couldn’t squeeze in tonight. The report is in two parts, a statewide profile and a regional assessment.
You can find links to both below.

Click here for the Kansas Housing Statewide Profile.

Click here for the Kansas Housing Regional Assessment.

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