Housing shortage seen in Dawson County
The Dawson County Area Housing Study is showing a need to produce up to 360+ new housing units in area communities, during the next five years.
“These are preliminary numbers, but it reflects a stable population base, good local economy and the desire of area residents to live in new owner and rental housing,” according to Jennifer Wolf, executive director of Dawson Area Development (DAD). “New and modern housing stock in the area will match, perfectly, with the future economic initiatives of DAD.
“New housing stock will stimulate the building industry, while providing business and industry with an inventory of housing for the local workforce.”
Dawson Area Development is preparing a new housing study, with the assistance of Hanna:Keelan Associates, P.C., a Nebraska-based community planning and research consulting firm. The housing study is being funded by a Housing Study Program Grant provided by the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, with matching funds from DAD.
To date, the housing study process has produced an abundance of statistical information pertinent to the identification of target housing opportunities in the Dawson County area.
The communities of Cozad, Gothenburg and Lexington have been identified to need up to 64, 66 and 185 new housing units, respectively, by 2019.
The smaller Communities, such as Elwood, Eustis and Overton, also, show a need for new housing stock, targeted, primarily, to working families and elderly households.
“The preservation of the existing Dawson County area housing stock has also been a topic of special interest during the development of the Housing Study,” Wolf said. “A county-wide assessment of housing conditions is still being conducted, but is expected to produce a strong need to rehabilitate or repair the existing housing stock in the area.”
Hanna:Keelan has also identified a housing potential for the downtowns in Lexington, Cozad and Gothenburg.
“An estimated 22 new units could be targeted for Lexington, 14 for Cozad and 10 units for Gothenburg, during the next several years,” said community planner Tim Keelan. “Upper story housing, both owner and rental, would be a good fit with each Community’s Downtown Revitalization Project.”