Washington council to discuss housing study

After receiving a $5,000 grant from the Iowa Area Development Group, the Washington City Council will discuss further work with a countywide partnership for a housing study.

Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said the study will help communities better plan housing efforts by providing hard data to communicate with potential developers. He said each community participating seemed to be dealing with similar issues as Washington. The study will identify current housing characteristics.

?We are asking the City Council to consider increasing the City of Washington?s contribution from the $3,500 approved in the budget to $7,500,? Hinson said. ?We would pay for this out of Housing Fund 145, which has a current balance of $39,357.51. If needed to get to the $30,000, we could supplement with money from LMI Fund 146, since the study is expected to include an affordable housing component.?

The City of Washington is the fiscal agent for the study.

Hinson is also requesting the city apply for a $2,000 Washington County Riverboat Foundation mini-grant to assist with the efforts. The council is considering the firm RDG Planning and Design to conduct the survey, the same firm that did the Washington Comprehensive Plan for 2011-12. The estimate to do the study is about $30,000, which is $20,000 higher than anticipated.

Hinson said the study will take a look at the housing market in great detail. There is a community survey component to the study to identify how the community feels about the current housing stock and what is missing.