Local News

Thayer County housing study underway

A county-wide housing study for Thayer County is being conducted by the Thayer County Commissioners with the assistance of Thayer County Economic Development Alliance (TCEDA). The Housing Study is being completed with the assistance of Hanna:Keelan Associates, P.C., a Nebraska based community planning and research consulting firm.

The Study is being funded by a community development block grant provided by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, with matching donations and funds from TCEDA. The Study is scheduled to be completed by January, 2013.

A Thayer County housing steering committee, representing the local housing development, sales and management industry and major employers, has been formed to work with Hanna:Keelan.

“A housing study is very important in meeting the economic development goals and objectives of the county and each community,” said interim TCEDA director and housing study coordinator Deb Craig. “The study will assist in identifying housing needs for potential grant opportunities. Assisting with local housing needs, especially for middle-income families,  is central to helping businesses expand and recruit new employees.”

The study will include community and county census data, a housing stock analysis, a five-year “Housing Action Plan” and funding options for future owner and rental housing development and rehabilitation projects.

Three important housing opinion surveys will be distributed throughout Thayer County within the next week.  A “Housing Needs and Wants Survey,” has been mailed to each household in Hebron, Bruning, Davenport, and Deshler.

Surveys are also available at the Alexandria Senior Center, Toad’s Bar and Grill in Belvidere, Bruning State Bank in Bruning, The Corner Market in Byron, Citizen’s State Bank in Carleton, Chester State Bank in Chester, Cornerstone Bank in Davenport,  Deshler City offices, Pioneers Inn in Gilead, and 80 Acres Steakhouse in Hubbell.

“The survey return site for Hebron was unintentionally left off the survey,” Craig said.  “Survey’s may be picked up or returned to Smitty’s Bakery, Central Market, Great Western Bank, Thayer County Bank, and Bruning Bank in Hebron.”   
Returning the survey by mail is another option to TCEDA at 225 North 4th Street in Hebron, Craig added.

A second survey, a “Continuum of Care for Elderly Persons Households Survey,” will be available at community senior centers and elderly housing facilities throughout the county. This Survey will focus on determining the comprehensive needs of Thayer County’s older adults, including housing, support services and their use and opinion of the downtown.  A third survey, a “Workforce Housing Needs Survey,” is being distributed to targeted employers in Thayer County for completion by their employees.

“These surveys will allow Thayer County citizens of all ages to participate in creating a new county-wide housing study,” Craig stated. “Their input is important in selecting the type of housing projects most suited for the future of Thayer County. Housing is both community and economic development.”

Citizens are encouraged to complete and return the Surveys to the locations identified on the survey, by Friday, Oct.19.

The housing study process will also include housing “listening sessions,” allowing Thayer County residents the opportunity to meet with representatives of Hanna:Keelan and  the housing steering committee and other local community leaders to discuss county and community housing needs and opportunities.  Citizens are asked to watch the newspaper for the times and dates of the listening sessions.

Any questions and/or comments regarding the study can be directed to Deb Craig or Wayne Dake at 402-768-7407, or at tceda@diodecom.net.

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