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City and Business Look to Pittsburg Housing - KOAM TV 7

City and Business Look to Pittsburg Housing

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

 A 2014 Housing Needs Assessment found that Pittsburg has a limited supply of moderate income homes and long wait times for newly constructed homes.

Tyler Casey says Pittsburg has a housing problem.

"I don't think it's a lack of housing," Casey said. "I think it's a lack of quality housing."

Poor housing and poor property values is something his company, Pro X Realty, has tried to remedy.

"We do a number of things with dilapidated properties," Casey said. "We purchase them ourselves, renovate them, and either rent them or sell them."

So far, the strategy is working. But Casey is only working one house at a time. He hopes the city can begin making progress on a larger scale.

"A new construction or newly renovated home increases the property value of that parcel. Which then, in turn, tends to increase the values around it," says Pittsburg Housing Director Becky Gray. She says many neighborhoods' issues stem from poor upkeep.

"Over 50 percent of our homes are over 50 years old," Gray said. "A 50-year old home that hasn't necessarily been maintained up to the standards that would be expected to maintain a home can become an issue."

One way the city has addressed the issue is through the Lincoln Square Development. 

Dilapidated homes in a one-square block were demolished, making room for new housing for moderate income families.

"And we've seen a ripple effect kind of go out around that neighborhood," Gray said. "And then around there we've seen building permits coming in for home improvements and home renovation." 

"There's a massive area of Pittsburg that needs attention," Casey said. "If you could buy whole areas up at a time, and do them all at once, and bring a whole neighborhood up, then we'd see some real impact, some dramatic change, in specific regions."

Lincoln Square Development still has several homes under construction. During next Tuesday's city commission meeting, officials will discuss the possibility of a city-owned "land bank" for future development.

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