By Jon A. Brake
The difference between theory and reality is a paycheck. If the City's Housing plan goes through, Real Estate Agents will not get a paycheck.
The City Commission held a work session Tuesday afternoon and received a "Population and Household Profile" and a "Neighborhood Planning Initiative" from the Staff. They were also given a Housing Unit Demand/Supply presentation which ended up being all theory. If implemented it would be a lot of reality for the Real Estate market in Manhattan.
The City of Manhattan paid big bucks for a Housing Study last spring. This was the study that announced that the Manhattan population was over 51,000 and three month later the U.S. Census listed Manhattan at 44,831.
Some Commissioners use the study to show that Manhattan needs 2,902 housing units over the next five years. The City wants to help contractors build 406 units a year. They feel the local vacancy rate should go from 3% to 7%. That would devastate the local real estate market.
In 1979 Fort Riley opened 300 housing units and hurt the Manhattan market for more than a year. Four hundred housing units a year for five years would put the Manhattan economy into a tailspin.
Yes, the City of Manhattan has housing problems. Problems brought on by city policy. The 1990 Land Use Plan calls for twelve plex apartment buildings east of KSU but after two or three home owners complained the City stopped the development. The less City involvement in development the better.
Builders, Bankers and Agents should get into this fight, it's their