New development builds needed homes in Garden City

GARDEN CITY, Kan. — An improving economy is causing a problem in Kansas.

“We need better housing, particularly in our rural areas,” said Governor Sam Brownback Wednesday.

“It’s a number of things, you know there’s the cost of construction, developers don’t want to take the risk.  It was hard for people for a period of time to get financing,” said James Behan the Director of Operations of Kansas Housing Resources Corporation.

Now, the Moderate Income Housing program is trying to boost housing and infrastructure in rural Kansas. Garden City is one of those towns and received nearly $400,000 from the initiative, and already has people moving in.

“This is good housing, it’s affordable,” said Brownback.  “It’s what we need to continue to keep growing, particularly in this area.”

The plan for Pioneer Estates came from the high school and businessman Cecil O’Brate.

“The high school was not able to hire any teachers because there was no place to live, so they approached me and we came up with a plan,” O’Brate said.  Pioneer Estates is connected to the high school by a service road, and teachers who rent there get a discounted rate.

City officials say the community is excited for the development and it shows, of the 43 houses and duplexes built, all the duplexes have been rented out and all but five of the homes have been sold.

Garden City’s housing assessment team said there should be about 60 new homes in town each year.  Brownback said that developmental growth is something he’d like to see across the state.

“We’re growing and I want to see that trend line accelerate!” he said.

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