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Rugby Housing: A multi-part study (part three))

By Staff | Mar 23, 2018

NOTE: The following is a continuation of the review of the Comprehensive Housing Survey started in March. The Rugby rental and senior-like housing trends have been produced for the Job Development Board from ESRI, a private data reporting service through Community Partners Research.

Between 2000 and 2010, Rugby has experienced an overall net decrease of 69 family households. There was a decrease of 46 married families with children, a loss of 24 single parents with children households, and loss of 15 married couple households without children. The city had an increase of 16 single family householders without spouse households.

What does this mean for Rugby’s housing rental and senior-like housing? The city had an increase of 17 non family households. Of the 17, 10 were one person households and an increase of seven households that had unrelated persons living together.

According to the census, the ownership tenure rate in Rugby was 68.4 percent. Statewide rental rates were at 34.6 percent and Rugby was below the statewide rate of 34.6 percent renter households. This means Rugby being at a lower rental rate, and more homeowner rate, makes home ownership for Pierce County at 75.3 percent and 34.6 percent rental rate.

*The Study showed us in the included table, Rugby Tenure by Age of Household based on 2010 Census data that is the latest available.

Approximately 86 percent of the renter households in Rugby were one or two-person households in 2010. There was a loss of 36 renter households with one to three household members, and a loss of one household with six or more household members.

Later in this series, we will discuss the limited stock of lower valued housing many of which are currently rentals and in need of serious repairs in the next five years. The study will give recommendations for dealing with these homes, in the Recommendations Survey at the end of the Housing Series.

Expanding home ownership and commitment to living in Rugby is one of the goals in this study. It helps to identify findings and recommendations for various housing for different age demographics.

The median owner occupied home value in Rugby based on recent sales is $103,500. With approximately half of the homes in Rugby valued less than 103,500, Rugby has a good market for the first time home buyers and households seeking moderately priced homes. The affordable price of Rugby homes, determined by this study, makes housing very attractive when compared to prices in some of the larger cities within commuting distance of Rugby.

The number of Rugby demographic trends show an increase of approximately 21 households from 2017 to 2022 in the home ownership ranges between 65 and 74 years of age. While many households in these ranges own their own homes already, this group represents a strong potential for trading up. The older age ranges within this group look for lower maintenance, such as twin homes or town house developments which suit their physical needs as they age, and their original families have shrunk as children leave to homes of their own. If these options do not exist in Rugby, they may seek other communities that afford them the amenities they desire at an older age.

The number of households in the 25-34 bracket is expected to increase by approximately 16 households between 2017-2022. This age group is typically first time buyers and may move to Rugby to seek out special financing assistance to help them purchase a first time home. Rugby could very well be an option for affordable homes.

The study recommended that first time buyers assistance, down payment assistance, low interest loans, gap financing and home ownership training programs to help address affordable housing issues.

While these home ownership assistance programs may not generate a large volume of new ownership activity, the combination of below market money, home ownership training, and down payment assistance may be the mix of incentives that moves a potential homeowner into buying a Rugby home, helping achieve the goal of growing our community and being attractive to new businesses, hospital services, and purchases that accompany home ownership. Those services include appliance buying, outdoor lawn equipment, jobs supporting those areas, school growth, and family services including groceries, gasoline fuel needs, and day care services.

Conclusions of the overall household projections for Rugby and Pierce County, indicate household losses and limited demand for owner occupied housing. However limited growth is anticipated through 2022 among households in the age rages between 65 and 74.

The Survey’s opinion stated “If the City of Rugby, the Rugby JDA, developers and builders are proactive, seven to nine owner-occupied homes can be constructed annually in Rugby over the next five years.”

This will include homes built in the new subdivisions, and on infill lots, and includes single units, such as twin homes and town houses.

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