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Housing market shortage hurting businesses

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 8:49 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The real estate market is in high demand right now and unfortunately Grand Island is in short supply of housing.

“We’re getting to a place where people are going outside Grand Island to find housing which has tremendous impact on our businesses and the cost that they incur,” said Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Vice President Courtney Lierman.

Not just through pay raises or finding accommodations for housing, “but also the turnover in absenteeism that comes from not having local housing,” Lierman said.

According to the Grand Island Area Economic Corporation (GIAEDC), the city only has 18 houses on the market for sell.

“From the housing study we did completed in 2020 for a community of our size to be healthy, we should have a minimum of 160 houses available for sale,” said GIAEDC President Dave Taylor.

They said companies aren’t building homes as much as they used to.

“You can’t get everything that’s needed to build a house as readily as you could pre-covid because of shut downs and lumber mills and processing facilities that would make the supplies,” Taylor said.

Luckily Grand Island was one of the recipients for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s 2020 round of Rural Workforce Housing Funds and received a million dollars as a result.

“It’s very exciting especially with this focused on workforce housing is where these funds will be used,” Taylor said.

They plan to build or revamp owner occupied homes for $275,000 or less. They also might use some of the money towards internship housing.

“We can’t have people scattered across Nebraska working for Grand Island companies,” Lierman said. “We need them here, we need them in our schools, in our community, in our businesses, and that all starts with housing.”

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