KS housing study findings to be presented at Atchison meeting

(KAIR)--A year-long comprehensive statewide housing needs assessment—the first of its kind undertaken in 27 years—is nearing completion, and Kansans are invited to learn about preliminary findings in a series of regional community meetings, including one planned in Atchison this week.

The study identifies current housing needs and growth opportunities, including goals to guide the state’s future housing development efforts.

Interim Atchison City Manager Justin Pregont, in an email announcing the study, said he “was fortunate enough to serve on the statewide technical committee guiding the completion of this study and Atchison is fortunate enough to be hosting one of the public presentations of the results.”

Ryan Vincent, Executive Director of Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, in a release, says with the information from the study, Kansas “can develop a data-driven approach to support growth and benchmarks” to track progress.

According to the release, Omaha-based consultancy, RDG Planning & Design, conducted the in-depth study over the past year. Analysis included a series of 71 virtual and in-person listening sessions with more than 425 community participants across the state, as well as meetings with housing stakeholder groups. Consultants conducted a statewide survey of more than 4,400 respondents and analyzed census data to develop a comprehensive picture of the state’s housing needs, current resources, and growth opportunities.

The findings revealed several key goals to address future housing needs, inlcluding: • Prioritize middle income housing • Diversify housing stock • Extend housing security • Reinvest in older housing stock, including vacant units • Address the building trades labor shortage • Extend existing human capital resources

Kansans are encouraged to learn more about the study’s results and how their communities can expand housing opportunities by participating in upcoming regional sessions, including a meeting planned Wednesday evening in Atchison. According to the release, that session will be held beginning at 5:30 in the USD 409 Community Room, located at 626 Commercial Street, in Atchison.

The release, which notes that the full report and recommendations will be published online following the statewide tour, explains that the state’s housing study was funded and administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Office of Rural Prosperity and Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, the state’s housing finance agency.

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