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Community Partners Research completes housing study

By Staff | Feb 11, 2011

Last fall the Rugby Job Development Authority (JDA) hired Community Partners Research, Inc., Faribault, Minn., to conduct a study of the housing needs and conditions in the City of Rugby. The results will be released to residents at a public meeting in about three or four weeks.

Community Partners collected and analyzed data from October to December 2010. The result is an 83-page document that is interesting by what it reveals.

Under housing construction activity, it was learned that “Rugby has had a limited amount of new housing construction over the past ten years.” The sources cited for this include: Rugby building permits, Census Bureau information, and Community Partners Research, Inc.

Including the year 2010, the City had added 28 housing units in single family or two family structures in the last ten years. This averaged to approximately three units annually. However, most of this construction activity occurred in the first half of the last decade. Since 2007, the City has averaged fewer than one new unit per year, according to the research results.

The housing shortage has been caused in part by the aftershock effects of the oil boom in the western part of the state. Workers in the oil field have had to move outward from the oil counties in their search for housing.

Rugby has very few rental units available and just a few houses for sale. The houses seem to sell as soon as they are marketed.

“We just sold three houses,” said Bob Houim, realtor, Brokers 12, Rugby. “One was to someone directly related to the oil industry. I expect to see more of those sales.”

Houim went on to say that just a few years ago, he had 77 homes to sell, now there are very few.

“This is the lowest inventory I’ve had since I started here in 2000,” said Houim. “Come spring I am going to need more homes to sell.”

If investors and contractors take up the call, there could be a whole lot of building going on this spring and summer in Rugby.

The Rugby City Council is already working on developing new construction incentive programs in the form of tax exemptions on new housing and commercial/industrial projects. The City’s Renaissance Zone Program will continue to help with building improvements and additions.

The next step in the process will be to form a housing development plan and get started.

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