RCED has invested time, funding, and provided research in efforts such as adopting the Republic County Neighborhood Revitalization Program (2011 / 2016), FHSU Housing Study (2012), Countywide housing/landlord meetings (2014), assisted four cities with Housing Assessment Tool work (2014-2015), KU MBA Jayhawk Consulting research (2016), North Central Regional Planning – Nuisance Abatement Pilot Program in Belleville (2018), and assisted Belleville in establishing a City Landbank (2019). Recent efforts on the housing include a Dane Hansen Community internship in the summer of 2019.
Since the last Census in 2010, Republic County has declined in population from 4,938 to the estimate of 4,705 in 2017. That being said, it should also be noted that not all age groups are declining. Between the years 2010-2016 population percentage has increased in the age ranges of 20-24 (29%) and 30-34 (38%). The county unemployment rate is below 3%, but there is more demand for the workforce in industries of manufacturing, education, and healthcare. It should also be noted that the workforce has become more mobile, meaning people are more willing to commute in the region to jobs either inside or outside the county.
Regarding the current housing stock, 49% of the homes in the county were built before 1939 and less than 12% of housing was built since 1980. With an aging and limited new housing stock, it is important the retain the housing that we have, as well as utilizing the infrastructure that is available. There is also a notable demand for market-rate rentals, but it is hard to accurately gauge how extensive that demand is. It is also difficult to gauge the level of need for low-income, elderly housing, and new home construction. The county has many tax credit subsidized properties for low-income and elderly rentals without full occupancy. While newer market-rate rentals have higher occupancy rates, often with waiting lists.
Based on information gathered from an informal housing survey, several potential designs were created that could be utilized in the county. The duplexes and quadplex concepts were based on the average lot size of infill lots from the HAT in four communities as well. Information gathered regarding income ranges, and perceived housing needs helped guide the decision-making process behind these designs in order to add a level of feasibility to the potential. We refrained from designing single-family homes due to the unique design preferences. However, developed land for sale for moderate-high income home construction was noted as a need in the county.
A resource packet was provided for all cities in the county from NCRP, USDA RD, KHRC, and FHL Bank. North Central Regional planning provided more information at the meeting on rehabilitation for existing housing, nuisance abatement, weatherization, and the new homeownership program.
KSU Architecture Masters Student
Dane Hansen Intern
View the presentations below by clicking through the slides below.