PCDC Taking New Steps to Create Housing
27 Apr 2022
Phelps County needs more housing.
The continued tight-housing supply in Holdrege is prompting PCDC to formulate new strategies to create housing and attract developers to the area.
For the past six months, just a few dozen or fewer homes are on the market in the county each week.
Phelps County has commissioned an updated housing study to help guide the community through the process of creating more housing. The last housing study was completed in 2017. At that time, the study recommended that nearly 300 new living units would be needed by this year. But, less than 75 living units were added in the past five years.
The 2017 study indicated 170 new owner-occupied homes would be needed, and 24 were added. It projected that 100 new rental units would be needed, and 50 were added thanks in part to efforts by PCDC, including the new Washington Square apartments, the Crew Subdivision and grants to other projects, such as the Iron Horse and Sixth Street Flats and the Hotel Dale.
“Housing is by far the top issue right now because housing will attract the people we need to grow,” PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said. “In the last five years, we’ve underperformed by half of what we needed.”
The new study will likely take about three months to complete. The updated study is needed to help the county compete for housing grants. PCDC is closely watching a possible new rural workforce housing bill in the Nebraska Legislature and will be prepared to compete for grant opportunities with this updated housing study.
Tillery said PCDC is also in the process of reviewing and updating its “toolkit” to meet the housing challenges ahead. The GO! HOME toolkit has helped employers fund home down payments for hundreds of new employees over the past several years.
Now, PCDC would like to create more incentives for developers.
“We are looking at adding an incentive program to remove the risk to developers so they are assured that when they build something, it will be sold,” Tillery said. “Price volatility and other uncertainty has contributed to a lack of housing starts, and we are trying to help remove some of the risks to developers.”
PCDC is also trying to identify new parcels of land that could be developed into housing subdivisions.
If you have ideas about possible housing solutions or would like more information about GO! HOME programs, contact Tillery at Ron@PhelpsCountyNE.com or (308) 991-4148.