In the last two decades, the city of Greeley, Colorado has seen its population grow by more than 20 percent, jumping from around 77,000 in the year 2000 to nearly 109,000 today.
Attracted by a booming oil and gas industry, as well as a solid manufacturing base, new immigration to the northeastern Colorado city could see the population exceed 150,000 in the next decade.
According to a document published by the city called City of Greeley Strategic Housing Plan, Greeley’s housing vacancy rate, as a result of the population boom, is down to 2.9 percent, nearly half of what is regarded as a sign of a healthy multi-family market.
“This means that Greeley currently has a very tight multi-family market with few rentals available,” says the report. “This can not only result in higher rents but it can force people to look elsewhere for housing if the type and price point of units isn’t available.”
City officials are now in the formative process of a plan that they hope will lead to the construction of at least 1,100 new homes.
An approach endorsed by the Greeley City Council, the plan calls for minimizing development costs for affordable housing; improving the housing product mix; smaller lot sizes; and making the city’s development code more flexible to encourage housing of different sizes and prices.
The plan additionally states that while 1,100 new homes are needed as soon as possible, at least 5,000 new homes should go up between now and 2024 in response to anticipated population growth.
Implementation of the plan is expected to spur initial new home construction this year, with the hope of meeting the 1,100-new home threshold in the next two years.
By Garry Boulard
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