By Bill French, President of Affordable Housing Enterprises Inc., Liberal
It’s good to see the city take a positive step in housing by deciding to move the Rural Housing Incentive District forward. This is just one step in many that needs to be taken to get housing in Liberal back on the right path.
Maybe the next step should be to put a Housing Advisory Board back together and benefit from several members of the commuity’s housing knowledge. Sometime around of before the year 2000, the city formed a Housing Advisory Board that lasted until about 2008. Several strides in housing were made during that time.
Since 2008, we have seen a steady decline in housing starts, leading to the dismal start this year.
Housing strategies and incentives were changed without the benefit of the knowledge yopu get from an advisory board, and the strategies and incentives have not worked.
At the city commission candidate forum, we heard some incumbants say they were “now” ready to listen to anyone who had ideas for housing and new candidates that understand the need for housing.
So, maybe taking advantage of the knowledge an advisory board brings could be the next step in a positive dierction.