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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • City touts home development

  • City officials say they are starting to see some return on their focus on housing, which, like the rest of the state, has seen a severe shortage despite the nation-wide building boom that led to the recession.
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  • City officials say they are starting to see some return on their focus on housing, which, like the rest of the state, has seen a severe shortage despite the nation-wide building boom that led to the recession.
    Since 2008, developers in Dodge City have built or have under construction 193 housing units, including both multi-unit rentals and owner-occupied homes. Additionally, 334 units are being proposed or are in development, including 50 to 70 units in the fifth phase of the Summerlon development at the northeast corner of the city.
    Development has been assisted by the Kansas Rural Housing Incentive District program, which provides tax incentives to new developments in counties with fewer than 40,000 residents.
    "We're still going," said City Manager Cherise Tieben. "But we're being very cognizant, very aware, that we don't overbuild."
    "There's room in the market. You want some vacancies, you want some openings. We're getting close in some areas, but not close in other areas."
    A 2008 analysis of the housing requirements figured the city needed 947 units, with a fifty-fifty split between rental and owner-occupied properties.
    A second analysis in 2012 determined the city needed 941 units to reach a healthy level before 2017, a gain of six, despite building 101 units in that period.
    The first major development agreement happened in 2011, Tieben said. Now the city and developers are starting to put some slack in the taut market.
    Due to the population sizes of Dodge City, Garden City and Liberal, they are not eligible for a USDA direct aid program that could encourage additional development, though some small cities inside metropolitan areas are eligible.
    Encouraging state and federal elected representatives to expand the availability of those programs to west Kansas population centers like Dodge City has been listed as one of the city's legislative priorities for several years.
    Low incoming housing, costing between $60,000 and $100,000, continues to be difficult to develop due to the cost of materials and other externalities, including geographic remoteness.

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