Garden City races to meet high housing demands

GARDEN CITY, Kansas – It’s no secret that business is booming out in Garden City, but with all that new industry brings workers, and those workers need housing.

“We’re in bad need of homes in the area,” said Kaleb Kentner, with Garden City Community Development and Inspection.

With new retail, restaurants and industry additions like the dairy plant coming to Garden City, the population of Garden City is growing.

It’s estimated by 2020 the city will reach between 32 and 33,000 people.

That’s why there’s an urgent need for homes, at least 600 more homes.

The city says it’s not meeting the market demand that calls for 60 to 70 new units per year.

“The last few years we’ve only been able to peak in at around 20 homes,” Kentner said.

That’s where the Rural Housing Incentive District Program comes into play.

The RHID allows developers to be reimbursed for some of the costs to build over a period of time.

“There’s a big demand for us to have housing in the area and in order for developers to do that, they have a lot of expenses that go into those,” Kentner said.

The four taxing entities in Garden City agreed years ago to allow this program to take some of the development’s property taxes and give them back to the developers over a span of 15 years.

Now, that incentive is more necessary than ever.

“The housing that’s being built now is housing that’s meeting demand that was here really before any of this business growth that we’ve seen recently began to happen,” said Matt Allen, the Garden City, City Manager.

The city hopes that by offering this incentive more developers will jump on board to keep up with the rising demand for housing.

The Clarion Park Estates celebrated its opening ceremony Tuesday morning.

The housing project was developed through the RHID program and already, the development is filling up with residents.

“The RHID that we have in place that some developments are using right now is having a lot of success and it’s stimulating construction growth,” said David Germann, President of the Garden City Area Builders Association.

Garden City officials say a big problem slowing down their housing development is the need for subcontractors.

They say the construction workers in Garden City have been very busy with what’s already being built, slowing down the process to develop more.

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