One in eight housing units in Rugby contains parents and children
“Only one in eight housing units in Rugby have parents and children living in them,” said Steven Greisert, Community Partners Research, Inc., Fairbault, Minnesota.
Thirty community leaders attended a housing forum which was open to the public on Tuesday, March 1 at the Northern Lights Inn. Griesert whose company researched the housing issue in Rugby, presented results and recommendations.
Both the population of Rugby (2,939 in 2000, 2,417 estimated in 2009) and the number of households have dropped from 2000 to 2009 (1,291, 1,136) and are expected to continue decreasing, according to the housing study.
The average household in Rugby has decreased from 2.17 in 2000 to 2.14 (estimated figure) in 2009. Pierce County’s average household has decreased from 2.31 in 2000 to 2.24 in 2009. This means that there are on average two people in most households in Rugby and in Pierce County. This decrease is projected to continue to 2015.
Rugby has added 28 housing units over the past 11 years. No multi-family units were constructed over the past decade, according to the study.
“Senior housing is not good in Rugby,” said Myrna Muffenbier who is on the board of directors for Tri County Senior Meals and Services.
Seniors need attached garages and a place for their washers and dryers, and living space all on one level, according to Muffenbeir and other seniors.
With the Baby Boomers growing older, there is more of a need for senior housing. In order for seniors to move out of their homes many of them have lived in for all of their adult lives, the place they are moving to must have incentives that will provide a more comfortable life for them.
The study found that the booming oil industry in the western part of the state has provided employment for area residents who are willing to live in the Rugby area and commute to the western area for their work. The oil boom has contributed to the demand for affordable housing as housing shortages in regional centers like Minot, has caused some households to expand their search for housing.
Rugby has some strengths for housing development that the study has pointed out: a regional center for the area, affordably priced housing stock, Job Development Authority (JDA), strong school system, within commuting distance of Devil’s Lake and Minot, several excellent employers, excellent health facility, and adequate land for development.
The barriers for housing development in Rugby were also pointed out in the study: age of rental housing stock (quite old), low rent structure, competition with Devils Lake and Minot, population and household losses and housing costs.
“Housing development will not happen without a proactive community involvement,” said Greisert. He added that the community leaders who attended the meeting was a good start.
Some strategies recommended by the study for Rugby were: to preserve existing housing stock, develop life cycle housing, promote new construction, and promote homeownership. The study gave specifics and these can be read at the JDA office or by downloading the housing survey at www.rugbyjda.com (Go to living and working in Rugby and tab down to housing.)
“This public meeting was a start in the process, we will need the help of the whole community to work on housing needs,” said Brenda Foster, director, Rugby Job Development Authority.
The city has already begun by offering tax incentives for housing developers and homebuyers.
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