Gov. Laura Kelly and Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers have launched the first comprehensive assessment of housing resources and needs in nearly 30 years. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)
TOPEKA — The shortage of affordable housing in Kansas will inspire the first comprehensive assessment of statewide residential needs in nearly three decades, state officials said.
Gov. Laura Kelly turned to RDG Planning & Design, of Omaha, Nebraska, to perform analysis of housing opportunities and goals as well as potential strategies for promoting housing development.
“This statewide housing assessment will provide us with a starting point on how we can positively affect communities’ abilities to grow and provide the quality of life that every Kansan deserves regardless of their zip code,” Kelly said.
The Democratic governor said Monday the deficit of affordable, quality housing was most prevalent in rural areas. Precise accounting of state’s housing resources and projected needs hasn’t been thoroughly studied in 27 years, Kelly said.
The Kelly administration’s Office of Rural Prosperity’s housing work group recommended the assessment. The RDG firm was selected in a competitive process that involved the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, the state’s housing finance agency. RDG’s report is expected to be delivered in December 2021.
“Housing is a barrier for communities to recruiting and retaining skilled workers,” said Lynn Rogers, the lieutenant governor and leader of the rural prosperity initiative.
The governor’s office said RDG had worked with Dodge City on some of the state’s first Rural Housing Incentive Districts, collaborated with Salina to encourage greater housing investment in core neighborhoods and helped Johnson County navigate tremendous housing growth.
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