What should citizens of Lawrence expect from its City Commission for the development of its housing stock?
The City Commission failed to reign in the excessive growth of the housing stock brought on by the developers. The taxpayers now pay the price for this excessive growth.
In any community, it is the goal of a city to maintain balance between the demand for housing and the supply of housing. If the supply runs ahead of demand, values fall. If the supply runs ahead of demand for a long period of time, whole neighborhoods lose value and blight occurs. Older neighborhoods suffer especially hard. This is what has happened in Lawrence.
Growth in the population is a good measure of growth in demand for housing
From1990 to 2000, the population grew:
· About 700 households per year,
· About 2.0 percent per year.
From 2000 to 2007, the population grew more slowly at:
· About 400 households per year,
· About 1.7 percent per year.
Growth in the number of housing units is a good measure of growth in the supply of housing
From 1990 to 2000, the housing stock grew:
· About 900 units per year,
· About 3.0 percent per year.
Since 2000, the housing stock grew:
· About 800 units per year,
· About 2.1 percent per year.
Matching the growth of demand and the growth of supply
In a well-planned market there should be a close correspondence between the growth in population and the growth in supply of housing. Developers have added units at a much greater rate than the growth in population:
· During the 1990s, the growth of supply outpaced the growth of demand by 200 units per year.
· Since 2000, the growth of supply outpaced the growth of demand by 400 units per year.
· The surplus stock totals to about 5,000 units. This means that developers have built surplus units that are more than the size of Eudora, all within the city limits of Lawrence.
· The surplus has brought about an out-migration from older neighborhoods, mostly in the eastern parts of the city, resulting in a loss of units.
· The loss of units resulted in a loss of value and deterioration in
the city’s older neighborhoods.
What should citizens of Lawrence expect from its City Commission?
· In a growing community, there is no need for any neighborhood to suffer a loss of population, housing units, or property values.
· In a growing community, the City Commission and its planners should manage growth to keep the pace of growth of supply in balance with the growth in demand for that housing.
· The City Commission and its planners should direct sufficient investment into older neighborhoods so that they maintain value and attract new families.