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Apartment for Rent In Hutchinson Kansas?

The Hutch News had 2 editorials last week. (I think they were last week... Please Hutch News post a date on your news articles... It's news!!! We need to know when it happened!)

Anyhow sorry...

Both of the editorials I am referring to were about a housing crisis in Hutchinson Kansas. Both were well written and didn't heartlessly attack anyone so I respect that.

Editorial #1 Click Here

Editorial #2 Click Here

What I don't know is... Is there really a housing crisis in the sense the refer to. They are saying we have a shortage of certain types of housing. They seem to be saying that it is mainly a shortage of affordable, quality housing.

Ok I got a couple of questions and a statement or two and then I need feed back.

1. I don't know!!!! - my family has lived in the same little bitty farm house essentially for the last 10+ years so I haven't been looking for housing much. Not claiming to understand the status quo locally.

2. I do know we brought in an employee from out of state 18 months ago and they seemed to have very little problem finding adequate housing.

3. I know that when you throw the words affordable and quality (2 VERY subjective adjectives) you make any discussion get a little sticky, we are all gonna have different pictures in our heads of that apartment.

4. I know we have more houses in this town than home owners/buyers, maybe home builders should have been putting up affordable duplexes for rent instead of new homes at light speed. Again, I don't know just a thought/idea.

5. I also wonder if when you have more homes than buyers maybe you should be looking to create jobs that create home owners/buyers. I know the chamber is doing that (looking to do that) and it's not a knock on them. Just a perception.

6. The one thing I do know for sure is this: I don't get it, I don't get it because I don't know. My knee-jerk is to say "You are crazy to claim we have a housing crisis, I see "For Sale" and "For Rent' signs all over. But.. I am willing to listening and have my mind changed because I am admitting ignorance.

I also know this.. I am sad the Hutch News hasn't kept this up to date (click here for link to Hutch News) I loved this section and wish more of the media would at least report some of the good things happening in Iraq.

I also know we have a conversation about Public Transportation going here (click for link) and the Director of RCAT has got involved. We are gonna see what we can do to ramp RCAT up to the next level. Check it out.

Please, cut loose with Hutch Housing comments, I want to gain some knowledge.

7 comments:

  1. I didn't find the apartment situation in Hutchinson bad at all when I was looking. We had a little trouble finding one that would accept pets, but once we did, I thought it was a pretty nice place, we had a great landlord, and the price was more than reasonable.

    On the other hand, I wasn't at all impressed with the homes for purchase. It seemed like whenever we looked, there was no middle ground. You could find older, more worn out homes for < $100k and really nice new homes for like $180k+, but it was difficult to find anything in the middle. That's not to say there weren't any, but just fewer in my opinion.

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  2. Cody, the last time a comprehensive housing assessment was completed in Hutchinson was 2000. It provided a lot of great info. One of the things the Blueprint for Growth (county's strategic plan) takes a look at is affordable housing - some very smart people (Dr. Krider from KU) looked at our current available housing and determined in order to house a population of 80,000 people (in the County) by the year 2020 we need to build 6485 new housing units (single family, apartments, duplexes etc.)At the end of 2007 1086 housing units had been completed or close to it.

    As I understand it - it's hard to define affordable housing. At our next Growth Coalition meeting, one of the things we will discuss is hosting a housing symposium to bring together the community to discuss what exactly constitutes affordable housing and what we could be doing to encourage more.

    Another issue I hear a lot about is that many of the rental units that are most affordable are not in very good shape.

    That's my two-cents. Would love to have anyone interested in this topic email me or respond so you can participate in the housing symposium.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really enjoyed reading the articles on Martin Miller. As always, God Bless Our Troops.

    My family members who live in Hutch have always been blue collar working folks who fix things up as they go along. Sweat equity is just part of the equation.

    It's unlikely the same would apply to people who are new to the community or who may be considering job opportunities from several different communities.

    Housing and cost-of-living were definitely considerations for us when we decided to leave DC. We debated the whole return to Kansas for a long time. The obvious choices being Topeka (where my in-laws live), Hutch (where my family lives) or Halstead (where my hubby's granny lived).

    IMHO, what you expect from housing is relative to where you lived before. DC's housing market is overpriced, overcrowded and the suburbs of Northern Virginia, completely out of sync with proper tax base planning. There wasn't enough government mandated planning and the developers went for the most bucks they could make off each parcel of land.

    Living in Kansas for most of my life I'd never seen the whole there are now 50 to 75 people in need of public services on the same land that two or three houses would occupy in the same space play out before.

    When we moved here, one of the things we looked at was government mandated planning guidelines. They love to annex land around here so that growth does not negatively impact the community.

    The city council here decided early on how many apartments would be allowed to be built in the city, where they would be located and the guidelines for building them. They are all grouped together in one section of town, around the mall and shopping facilities and in an area easily accessible to transportation. Doing so solves a lot of current and future logistical problems.

    The city also restricts minimum and maximum house size on new construction, how close you can build to your property line, the type of dwelling you can build (single family, multi-unit, townhouse), and your home size proportional to your lot size.

    In some places they have a real problem with people buying a small lot and then building a McMansion in a neighborhood of bungalows and building clear up to the street and to the end of their property line. Not only do their neighbors lose their privacy but they also stand the risk of losing direct sunlight into their homes and/or gardens.

    If Hutch is planning on new construction to attract new folks to the area, I hope they've already put into place guidelines for developers to be beneficial to the taxbase as well as ensuring neighborhood consistency for new areas.

    If the plan is to provide more affordable housing for people who already live there, IMHO, the money would be better spent for home ownership investment rather than apartments. The only way my sister was able to afford to buy a house in Hutch, as a divorced mom of two and working full-time as a CNA was with a grant which helped with closing costs and a downpayment. It had stipulations with it. She had to live in the house as her primary residence for a number of years and if she didn't, she had to pay the money back. Over the years she's spent her own time and money to improve the house.

    IMHO, communities are better when they work toward having home ownership rather than rentals. People care more about the long-term when they see themselves as long-term.

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  4. With 1 in 3 homes in Hutchinson likely to have been a meth lab (I swear this was the stat I heard from the PD - Drug Unit when I first moved here) I believe there is a real problem finding quality affordable rental units in Hutch. My husband and I have been renting for almost 2 years now. We aren't interested in buying because we don't plan on living here for the next 30 years. We are stuck in our little rental paying just what we can afford because there aren't any other options. Trying to find something to rent before moving here was nearly impossible. The only on-line option was the Hutch News classifieds and I couldn't figure out where houses were and what the neighborhoods were like. I never could find school district maps for the City. Just imagine how difficult we make it to move your family to Hutchinson.

    Most agencies in town talk about affordable housing in terms of lower income families. The Fed's define affordable as not more than 1/3 of your monthly income.

    Quality is another subject entirely. I do think finding a home that was not a drug lab previously should be a no-brainer as a minimum level for quality.

    If you haven't checked out the rental market lately, I suggest you grab the classifieds and drive around to look at the rentals and see if you would move your kids in there.

    If anyone reading these comments is an employer - look at the salaries you provide and estimate what your employees could afford paying 1/3 of their salary.

    ReplyDelete

I love the discussion in the comments.. so... GO FOR IT!

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