News Briefs

Kansas launches first statewide housing study in 27 years

By: - December 29, 2020 1:19 pm
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)

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.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

MORE FROM AUTHOR