York residents, workers asked to respond to housing survey

YORK — The City of York is asking those who live and work in York to respond to a survey about housing needs and possible strategies to address those needs in the community.

The poll is part of a collaboration between the City of York, York County Development Corporation (YCDC) and Community and Regional Planning graduate students in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s (UNL) CRPL 840 Planning Methods and Analysis class. The 12 students in the class and the professor are conducting research on affordable housing strategies for York as their class project for the semester. They will analyze the survey results as part of this housing research, according to York City Administrator Dr. Sue Crawford.

The survey includes 17 short questions. The questions ask respondents about their current housing situation, what types of housing that they would like to see more of in the community and strategies that they would like to see the community consider to improve affordable housing availability in York.

The collaboration with UNL students on housing research is just one of several recent steps the city has taken to tackle the housing issue over the past year.

As Mayor Barry Redfern noted, “We know how important it is to increase housing in order for the community to thrive.”

In recent months, the city has loosened zoning restrictions on multi-family housing, adopted a workforce housing incentive plan, collaborated with YCDC on a $1 million dollar grant for workforce housing in the community and redrawn redevelopment areas to bolster housing. Since all of those strategies have just started, the UNL study will provide baseline measures of the status of housing now at the start of these strategies as well as provide insight into future possible strategies.

To complete the survey, go to https://polco.us/scv26k or use the QR code found at the bottom of this story.

Students in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s CRPL 840 Planning Methods and Analysis class met with Dr. Crawford and YCDC Director Lisa Hurley in September to initiate the housing research. Crawford and Hurley provided an overview of the city’s affordable workforce housing needs and housing strategies that have already begun.

Students will analyze the survey results and gather and analyze data on demographic, socioeconomic, housing, and employment/business conditions in the City of York, York County and the Southeast Nebraska region over the coming weeks to aid York officials in understanding current and projected future housing demand as well as opportunities for growing and diversifying York’s housing stock. The students will meet with city and YCDC officials in November to discuss initial results. The city and YCDC will receive final reports from the student research in December at the end of the semester.

Dr. Abigal Cochran, assistant professor of Community and Regional Planning, said, “We are so glad to be collaborating on research that will allow more workers and families to live in the vibrant City of York.”

One of the students followed with encouragement to those who live and work in York to take the survey, saying, “By taking this survey, you can help us gain valuable insight into York residents’ values and goals, as well as experience engaging communities on important placemaking, economic development, and planning issues.”

Crawford noted, “The housing research experience benefits the students by giving them experience and it benefits the community by providing research for us. It will be an added bonus if the experience encourages any of the students to consider living and working in York after they graduate.”

A strong response by the community will generate valuable data that can assist in future planning. The city encourages anyone with an interest in housing in the York community to participate.

Contact Dr. Crawford (scrawford@cityofyork.net) with questions.


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