Lennox housing study predicts steady growth for community

February 18, 2015

Lennox city council members heard from Community Partners Research Inc. about the housing study they conducted in 2014 at the council’s Feb. 9 meeting.

Lennox public works director Greg Stack said the total cost of the study was $7,500, with grants from the South Dakota Housing Development Authority and South Eastern Council of Governments (SECOG), as well as $1,875 that came out of the economic development budget. The survey started last summer.

In addition to Mayor Orville Wiebers and members of the city council, they surveyed business owners, community leaders, apartment complex owners and homeowners.

Stack said they did a housing survey to help those who want to develop property in Lennox have information to present to lenders.

“It’s a third-party survey to go ahead and see what kind of housing is needed based on the demographics here in town,” Stack said. “It gives you an objective opinion from a professional that does this.”

The survey results show a population increase from 2000 to 2010 of 74 people. The 2000 U.S. Census showed 2,037 people in town and in 2010 it was 2,111. Baby boomers saw the most increase from 2000 to 2010 with 130 residents. The 65 and older category lost 65 people.

ESRI estimates a population increase of 233 residents over the next five years. They estimate that Lincoln County’s population will increase by 9,238 in that same time.

“Projected growth is going to increase by 233 people through 2019, about 47 a year. That’s tough to do if you don’t have the housing for it,” Stack said.

The survey also showed that 32 homes were sold in 2013 with a median sale price of $115,000.

According to survey results, 39 percent of the houses in the city’s two oldest neighborhoods need minor repair and 15 percent need major repair. About 45 percent required no improvements. Three houses are dilapidated.

From 2000 to 2014, the city had 74 building permits for single-family home construction and 36 permits for two or more unit structures. Six of those single-family permits were in 2014. The year 2008 was the last year the city had building permits for two or more unit structures with eight permits.

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