Introduction

Overview

Local elected and public officials are often held responsible for conditions and circumstances over which they have limited control. This is particularly true of housing. Most of the housing units in the Aitkin County area are privately owned and were constructed with private funds. On an increasing scale, however, the public is demanding that public officials control what happens in this largely private housing market by eliminating blight, protecting individual investments, and generating new housing growth to meet economic development needs.

Community Partners Research, Inc., was hired by the Aitkin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), to conduct a study of the housing needs and conditions in Aitkin County. The incorporated cities of Aitkin, Hill City, McGrath, McGregor, Palisade, and Tamarack, and the County of Aitkin were also sponsors of the Study.


Goals:

The multiple goals of the study include:

►          Provide updated demographic data including the 2000 Census

►          Provide an analysis of the current housing stock and inventory

►          Determine gaps or unmet needs

►          Examine future housing trends that the area can expect to address in the coming years

►          Provide a market analysis for housing development

►          Provide housing recommendations and findings


Methodology:

A variety of resources were utilized to obtain information for the Housing Study. Community Partners Research, Inc., collected and analyzed data from April 2001 to September 2001. Data sources included:

             -          U.S. Census Bureau

            -          Demographic estimates and projections from the State Demographer

            -          Claritas, Inc., a national data reporting service

            -          Woods & Poole Economics, Inc., a private economic forecasting service

            -          Records and data from the Cities

            -          Records and data maintained by the Aitkin County Assessor’s Office

            -          Interviews with elected officials and staff from each City

            -          Interviews with community leaders

            -          Interviews with people familiar with the area’s housing conditions including bankers, realtors, property managers, and developers

            -          Area housing agencies

            -          State and Federal housing agencies

            -          Rental property owner surveys


Limitations:

This Housing Study represents an analysis performed with the data available at the time of the Study. The findings and recommendations are based upon current solutions and the best available information on future trends and projections. Significant changes in the area’s economy, employment growth, federal or State tax policy or other related factors could change the conclusions and recommendations contained in this Housing Study.

This study was prepared by:

Community Partners Research, Inc.
10865 32nd Street North
Lake Elmo, MN 55042
(651) 777-1813