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Housing, or lack thereof, is a serious issue for growing community

July 15, 2011
By Terri Kelly Barta

Adequate housing is something a thriving community provides. Sometimes, factors figure in that a community isn't prepared for, but must respond to. One example is an oil boom that brings a large number of workers to the state who need housing. Another is flooding in nearby communities, which causes people to seek housing in another nearby town so they can keep their jobs and commute.

Solutions to the shortage of housing in Rugby must be addressed sooner rather than later. To Rugby's credit, the JDA has taken the first step, in having a survey done and pinpointing what areas of the population most need housing and what kind of housing is needed.

Just having the information isn't enough. While they are figuring solutions out, leaders have to assess housing needs for the future, as well. If the population is dropping off here and too many houses/apartments are being built, Rugby could have a housing abundance in the future, which isn't good either, if at that time there is no demand. It's a "catch 22."

Very little new construction is taking place here in response to the need, as yet.

Another problem is finding companies that will stick their necks out, hoping that if they build, people will come and buy or rent. The company needs to get the money they invested into housing, back, in order to continue their business.

Rugby has a housing committee and they are meeting diligently to try and solve the problem. In the meantime, Rugby is losing the people who need housing immediately. Here is a great opportunity for Rugby and Pierce County to grow.

We have heard rumblings that rent is increasing in some cases for apartment buildings and houses, because landlords can get more money from those in immediate need of housing, like those people working in the oil fields. A sure deal is a sure deal.

We know of people who have cleaned out old rental properties, they have and spruced them up to rent to people who need them now. Why not capitalize on the demand? Supply and demand is the economic system this country is built on.

We are not sure what can be done to solve the housing problem in the short-term. That is best left to community leaders who have the information on which to make a good decision for now and the future.

Our concern is for Rugby as a community. What if anything can we do to help solve this dilemma?

 
 

 

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