July Eggs & Issues Recap | Housing Insights
July Eggs & Issues Recap | Housing Insights
July 11, The Chamber’s Eggs and Issues series welcomed the business community to learn about the findings and implications of the regional housing study recently conducted by the FM Metropolitan Council of Governments (Metro COG). Erin Lonoff from HR&A Advisors kicked off the conversation with a presentation that summarized the comprehensive housing study and highlighted the key takeaways.
In an effort to lay down the groundwork with data, Erin came prepared with a slideshow presentation that helped attendees visualize some of the key data that could be taken from the housing study. She wanted to provide common basis talking points so that attendees could understand the current state before moving toward solutions or public policy strategies. For example, her data showed that we have strong and significant employment growth, a housing supply that doesn't meet our growing demand for housing, the opportunity for increased homeownership access and a lack of sufficient affordable rental housing.
“The biggest takeaway is your region, economically, jobs-wise, has been growing very very rapidly and your housing has not been keeping pace with that growth.” - Erin Lonoff
The primary objective of this event was to educate and inform our community about the study's progress and findings and how we can collectively shape the future of housing in our area. Our expert panelists shed light on the study's key themes, exploring the intricacies of the FM housing market as they each used their expertise to dissect the data and explore opportunities for the future.
Rocky Schneider, Chair of the Fargo Planning Commission, served as moderator as Jon Youness (EagleRidge Development), Bryce Johnson (Home Builders Association) and Erin Lonoff dived into and discussed the regional housing study conducted by Metro COG. The panel touched on home availability, affordability and ownership in the region, as well as how all of these factors intertwine and impact our economy and quality of life.
Bryce Johnson has worked for the Home Builders Association for around 30 years and has seen the many various states of the Fargo-Moorhead area and its development. She gave her praise to the housing study and how she believes it will be helpful to those within her industry when it comes to understanding the future of the FM Metro.
“We know as an industry, and the real estate industry knows, that there is a housing crisis. There are segments of the population that need housing, and we’re not able to produce where that’s at and this study is very helpful in identifying those areas of need very specifically. We also recognize what the challenges are, and that we aren’t meeting the need there. We love to see a study like this that is actionable. This is really encouraging and is an opportunity to work together collaboratively with the region and bring everybody to the table and understand what those challenges are and address them.” - Bryce Johnson
The panel continued on to discuss the housing crisis and contributing factors. Looking ahead, panelists want to be optimistic, but the reality of roadblocks is not something to ignore. Jon Youness provided his take on FM housing and the trouble we may have with developing the proposed 16,000 homes needed in the FM area. He explained, “It’s not like you can snap your finger and start building homes. It takes years to get municipal infrastructure out there. All of the regional improvements that have to go in – it takes a lot of time. If we aren’t planning those things right there, there will be a gap after the diversion when homes still aren’t being built. Right now is the time to get to work on all these regional improvements and set the stage so that the minute homes are able to be built in a certain area – that the homes are being built. That we’re not putting in roads or sewer lines. It’s gotta be ready to go.”
Attendees heard from experts on many facets of regional housing, and there is a lot to dive into before making final decisions for the future. The July Eggs and Issues event covered a comprehensive look at the housing study, Metro COG data and future possibilities for the area.
If you are looking for more in-depth information from the event, you can view Erin’s presentation slides or look at the full housing study with the following links: