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Study finds weakness in Hillsboro housing

Tackling a need the city earlier designated as a top-tier priority in its strategic plan, Hillsboro city council members Tuesday listened to findings of a Wichita State University Public Policy and Management Center housing needs assessment.

City administrator Matt Stiles told council members the policy and management center reported that:

  • Homeowners are 77% of Hillsboro residents. Renters make up 23% of city residents.
  • Median home values and rents have increased and median incomes have decreased since 2016.
  • In the same time, there has been a 13% decrease in rental properties available for under $500 a month.
  • About 16% of Hillsboro houses are vacant.
  • The number of housing units decreased more that the decrease in population.
  • Nearly 70% of Hillsboro houses were built before 1970.

The study also reported that the city’s housing issues were significant barriers to attracting developers to Hillsboro. A lack of local tradespeople contributes to high construction costs.

The study reported that many residents live in homes that do not meet their needs, but cannot move because of limited housing availability.

Stakeholders said Hillsboro’s lack of housing availability limits community and economic growth, the policy center reported.

Stiles noted that the number of houses more than 50 years old means there has been little new construction in the years since 1970.

Last modified Oct. 5, 2023

 

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