At the end of 2014 we hired a firm that specializes in analyzing housing data to take a look at Kent’s housing market and develop a modified housing needs assessment for us.
The idea for the assessment came up when we started hearing conflicting observations about too much or too little housing for seniors, students, low income families, starter homes and even higher income properties. Hopefully, a thoughtful, deliberate, data driven analysis can give us some accurate insights about the supply and demand of housing in Kent and be a basis for a more effective housing development strategy.
We’ve worked hard to increase the vibrancy of our downtown and we’re hoping that our rejuvenated downtown will make more people want to call Kent home. To do that effectively, we feel like we need to know the condition of our housing market, what are Kent’s housing strengths, weaknesses, shortfalls, oversupply, etc.
Once we have a housing profile in hand we can sit with Council and the community to start moving the puzzle pieces around to find the right balance of housing in Kent.
The City doesn’t build houses so we don’t have direct control over what gets built but we can try to create opportunities for certain types of projects to occur in order to keep pace with local needs. That’s our short term goal.
Long term, we’re interested in securing residents’ investments in their homes and making sure people have housing choices within Kent.
With the consultant analysis underway the firm has scheduled a Community Housing Forum for April 15th from 3-6 pm to take comments, reactions and thoughts on housing issues affecting Kent.