Morris County Housing Meeting
March 6th, 2014
Council Grove City Hall
The Flint Hills Regional Council held its initial housing meeting for the Fair Housing and Equity Analysis work
All meeting attendees were given a Housing Survey, which can be found online, at www.flinthillsfrontiers.org. All survey respondents were Morris County residents and 85% worked in Morris County. Most survey respondents owned their single-family detached homes. Only 23% felt there was an adequate mix of housing in their community and most felt the community was in need of a range of housing, specifically duplex, townhomes, condominiums and senior housing. There is quite a spread amongst respondents on how aware they feel they are of the fair housing laws, with the average falling just above 3 on a 1-to-5 scale. Yet, when we dig into the details of who might be having difficulty, 70% of respondents felt Families with children have the most difficulty finding housing in the community. Many also identified the Disabled and Elderly as groups that are challenged to find adequate housing.
Low income or lack of adequate income of the workforce was by far the leading barrier to home ownership. Many mentioned some relationship between low income and the costs of purchasing, improving and maintaining the current state of Morris County housing. There were also concerns around commitment of investors, or “how long” people were expecting to stay in the community and the type of housing stock that is currently available, with too many “fixer-uppers” and not enough “updated homes” on the market. This theme continued when respondents were asked about their view or experience of rental housing. Almost all respondents spoke of poor quality and inadequate conditions and standards in rental units. There was also concern over the difficulty of locating and finding rentals and the safety of units. When respondents were asked if they felt Morris County housing was a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity or Threat, virtually all saw it as a Weakness or spoke about the challenges the area faces in attracting and maintaining new-comers to the area.
These are some things that were said in the first Community Toolbox Meeting.
March 25, 2014
Thoughts expressed during Breakout conversation on how to make the tools more useful and focused:
Do you want to know what is the difference between property maintenance and building codes? Do you want to learn "how not to" discriminate in housing? Well then go on down to Manhattan City Hall on Thursday, April 24th! The city is hosting it's 2014 Fair Housing Seminar from 8:30 am to noon. Registration is free.
For more information see the Manhattan website.
Keep up to date on the Manhattan Area 2035 project! Manhattan is undergoing the process of updating their comprehensive plan. They have created a website specifically for the project, allowing for people to be engaged through the internet! The project will take place over a 14 month period so don't miss out!
"LARCP is a partner in the K-State Prairie Studies Initiative that brings disciplines in the arts and sciences together to explore cultural and ecological dimensions of the prairie, understand challenges to sustaining grassland ecosystems, and envision the future of these important landscapes. The public kickoff for the initiative is a March 11 screening of a segment of nature photographer Michael Forsberg's "Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild" series, 6-8 p.m. in 101 Bluemont Hall. The screening, themed "Water", will be followed by discussion with Tim Keane, LARCP, and Elizabeth Dodd, university distinguished professor of English, writer and poet. The event continues on March 12 from 6-8 pm in the UMB Theater at the Beach Museum of Art. The second evening will include a screening of a second segment of Michael Forsberg's "Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild" series, followed by discussion with Director of Research and Ecologist at the Land Institute, Dr. Tim Crews, KSU faculty member and visual artist, Shreepad Joglekar, and Director of Konza Prairie Biological Station, Dr. John Briggs. See Katie Kingery-Page or Stephanie Rolley if you would like more information about the Prairie Studies Initiative and read here.
Upcoming Events:Prairie Studies Initiative kick-off events, Mar. 11 & 12:Water (Mar. 11, 6pm): Screening of a segment of Michael Forsberg's "Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild" series, followed by discussion with KSU Urban Water Institute affiliate faculty, Dr. Tim Keane, and writer and poet, Elizabeth Dodd.March 11, Tuesday, 2013, 6pm-8pm, Bluemont Hall Room 101Land (Mar. 12, 6pm): Screening of a second segment of Michael Forsberg's "Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild" series, followed by discussion with Director of Research and Ecologist at the Land Institute, Dr. Tim Crews, KSU faculty member and visual artist, Shreepad Joglekar, and Director of Konza Prairie Biological Station, Dr. John Briggs.March 12, Wednesday, 2013, 6pm-8pm, UMB Theater at the Beach Museum of ArtThe "Great Plains: America's Living Wild" documentary series follows nature photographer Michael Forsberg as he examines the remaining "wildness" in the Great Plains of North America. Featuring stunning imagery, the documentary is based on Forsberg's book of the same name. The Prairie Studies Initiative at K-State is using this documentary in two kick-off events intended to stimulate appreciation for prairie landscapes, conversations about their importance, and dialog among scholars and students to better understand prairies.Prairie Studies InitiativeDescriptionThe Prairie Studies Initiative is a collaborative venture of K-State faculty, staff, and students to explore the cultural and ecological dimensions of the prairie, challenges to sustaining grassland ecosystems, and envisioning new futures for these unique and important landscapes. The initiative explores themes of wildness, managed landscapes, human culture, and creativity.MissionThe Prairie Studies Initiative aims to strengthen dialogue and inspire creative scholarship among those engaged in understanding the natural ecosystems, history, culture, and livelihoods of the prairie, and to employ the arts to make this research meaningful to a wide public.ActivitiesThe Initiative organizes both professional and public events that pair leaders in the arts with leaders in natural and social sciences and the humanities to stimulate communication and creative research among scholars. Broadly, the Initiative fosters greater understanding on the part of the public of complex issues central to the health of the prairie.ImpactThe Prairie Studies Initiative aspires to catalyze diverse modes of inquiry and cross-disciplinary perspectives in place-based research by faculty, staff, and students at K-State. Through actively engaging the arts with science, the Initiative aims to reveal both shared modes of inquiry and the value of the differences that shape these perspectives."