2014 Housing Study: Goals & Action Steps

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The Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation (GIAEDC), in partnership with the City of Grand Island, is conducting a 2014 Housing Study. The study will help identify Grand Island's strengths and weaknesses in regard to housing, and will create an action plan for Grand Island in terms of affordable housing. Housing surveys have already been conducted by Hanna:Keelan Associates, P.C., a Nebraska based community planning and research firm, using paper surveys as well as an electronic version which was hosted by the website SurveyMonkey.

In June, Hanna:Keelan released the study's Housing Goals and Action Steps, which outlines the findings obtained through the surveys and the actions needed to ameliorate any housing deficiencies that were discovered. "In order to be considered a healthy housing market, we need to reach a vacancy rate of 7% in Grand Island; we are now at 3%. To put that into perspective, we would need to add and/or remodel 1,734 housing units by 2019," said Mary Berlie, executive assistant at the GIAEDC. "We also need to take a serious look at our housing costs," Berlie continued. "Public input has shown that even if they were able to find an available unit, many families feel the average price of a single-family home would be a stretch for them financially."

Outlined in the Goals and Action Steps are recommendations for partnerships between organizations from both public and private sectors, the GIAEDC, and the Housing Authority to name a few. These organizations will work with local and state housing funders to encourage the development of specific housing programs that meet the needs of the community's current and future residents, with emphasis on housing constructed for the local workforce, young families, retirees, the elderly, veterans, college students and populations with special needs.