The City’s Community Development Department and Kent State University are wrapping up a 9 month data collection effort to contribute to what hopefully becomes a community wide dialogue about Kent’s housing stock past, present, and future.
With so many student rentals in town, a big part of the report looks at the student housing market — but this is meant to be a bigger conversation that includes single family homes, starter homes, senior housing, young professional housing, subsidized housing, etc., as part of a comprehensive housing assessment.
The idea behind the report was to gather hard data on what the housing stock looks like today and apply some demographic trends to it in order to forecast the likely opportunities and obstacles that lie ahead.
Armed with real data, the hope is that the community can have some meaningful discussions about the housing mix that will serve Kent’s housing users from retirees to millennials, and everybody in-between that calls Kent home.
Obviously student housing is a big piece of the mix in Kent which is why the University is working so closely on this with us. It’s their business to know the student demographic so we’re leaning heavy on their forecasts for student body growth to gauge the balance between projected housing supply and demand.
The data is meant to start the conversation about a housing strategy which can carry the success of the downtown revitalization into the neighborhoods. We’re proud the downtown has become a popular destination, now we want to make sure that Kent’s neighborhoods are equally vibrant and become a destination in their own right.
No conclusions yet because there’s plenty more discussions and public meetings to come but for now here’s the data slide show that the Community Development Director shared to highlight some of the initial findings with City Council. (click here to download the full draft report)