Town Talk: City EDA conducting NU housing study

Editor’s Note: The City of New Ulm presents a weekly column highlighting activities in different departments in the city government. Once a month the city will answer questions from readers. Questions on New Ulm city issues can be sent to comments@ci.new-ulm.mn.us.

The New Ulm Economic Development Authority (EDA) is working with Community Partners Research, Inc. on a Comprehensive Community Housing Study.

The most recent study was completed in 2012 and prior to that a study was done in 2004.  Housing Studies analyze a community’s demographic makeup including income and employment trends, the housing market including for-sale, rental, senior and other types of housing over the next five years and recommendations of the types of housing necessary to meet current and future needs.

Research involved in the study include sources such as U.S. Census data, interviews with city staff, community leaders, rental property owners, realtors, major employers and other entities involved in the New Ulm housing market.  The New Ulm Chamber of Commerce’s Vision 2020 event identified housing as an area the community should focus on.

The purpose of a Housing Study is to review and assess the current housing stock, identify what critical housing needs exist and help guide community leaders and decision makers when setting local policies in planning for the future and deciding what types of projects to support.  Developers also us the study  to help to answer questions about housing needs in our community. A local housing plan is essential for a community, as it helps identify what housing need is being unmet, assists industry in considering expansion projects that increase employment, which in turn needs housing, and helps home contractors or developers in building the types of housing the community wants.

The EDA will receive a draft of the new Housing Study this spring and should receive the final study this summer.  The final study will be available on the City of New Ulm website and free electronic copies will be available upon request.  Printed copies are available for $25.  If you would like to receive a copy of the Housing Study, you may contact the EDA office at any time to request one.  If the study is not yet available, staff will take your contact information and send it to you once it has been completed.  If you would like to request a copy, contact the EDA at (507)359-8227.