A year-long comprehensive statewide housing needs assessment—the first of its kind undertaken in 27 years—is nearing completion, and Kansans are invited to learn about preliminary findings in a series of regional community meetings. The study identifies current housing needs and growth opportunities, including goals to guide the state’s future housing development efforts.
“For too long, Kansas has operated without a strategic focus to guide our housing investment, hindering our state’s economic development,” said Ryan Vincent, Executive Director of Kansas Housing Resources Corporation. “With this information, we can develop a data-driven approach to support growth and benchmarks to track our progress.”
RDG Planning & Design, an Omaha-based consultancy, conducted the in-depth study over the past year. Analysis included a series of 71 virtual and in-person listening sessions with more than 425 community participants across the state, as well as meetings with housing stakeholder groups. Consultants conducted a statewide survey of more than 4,400 respondents and analyzed census data to develop a comprehensive picture of the state’s housing needs, current resources, and growth opportunities. These findings revealed several key goals to address future housing needs:
- Prioritize middle income housing
- Diversify housing stock
- Extend housing security
- Reinvest in older housing stock, including vacant units
- Address the building trades labor shortage
- Extend existing human capital resources
Kansans are encouraged to learn more about the study’s results and how their communities can expand housing opportunities by participating in upcoming regional sessions. The full report and recommendations will be published online following the statewide tour. Join KHRC’s mailing list and select “Housing Needs Assessment 2021” to be notified when the full report is available.
Statewide Housing Needs Assessment Results Tour
- Monday, Nov. 29: Northeast
- 5:30 p.m. – Sunflower Foundation, 5820 SW 6th Ave, Suite 400, Topeka
- Tuesday, Nov. 30: Kansas City Metro
- Noon – Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty, Overland Park, KS
- 5:30 p.m. – Memorial Hall Ballroom, 600 N 7th Street Trafficway, Kansas City
- Wednesday, Dec. 1: Northeast – Atchison
- 5:30 p.m. – USD 409 Community Room, 626 Commercial, Atchison
- Tuesday, Dec. 7: North Central
- Noon – Salina Annex Meeting Space, 120 West Ash Street, Salina
- 5:30 p.m. – BriefSpace, 219 W 10th St, Hays
- Wednesday, Dec. 8: Western
- Noon – Safe Child Center, Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center, 212 E. 5th St, Scott City
- 5:30 p.m. – Boot Hill Conference Center, 4100 W. Comanche Ave., Dodge City
- Thursday, Dec. 9: South / Southeast
- Noon – Derby Public Library Community Room, 1600 E Walnut Grove, Derby
- 5:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn, 3401 Blue Comet Drive, Chanute
- Monday, Dec. 13: Statewide Virtual Event
The state’s housing study was funded and administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP) and Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC), the state’s housing finance agency. The Office of Rural Prosperity’s Housing Work Group, an interagency team of state leaders led by KHRC Executive Director Ryan Vincent, identified a needs assessment as a crucial first step in addressing the state’s housing needs and priorities, particularly in rural and underserved areas. KHRC and ORP selected RDG to lead the study through a competitive RFP process.
Governor Laura Kelly and former Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers created the Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP), a nonpartisan initiative established in part to ensure that rural Kansas is heard and represented in the statehouse. The ORP aims to streamline rural policy while focusing on the issues that matter to rural Kansans. During the ORP’s 2019 and 2020 statewide listening and action tours, housing was brought up by leaders in every region of the state as a vital component of recruiting and retaining workers, families, and entrepreneurs to help rural Kansas thrive.
Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) is a self-supporting, nonprofit, public corporation committed to helping Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the state’s housing finance agency, administering essential housing and community programs to serve Kansans.