FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
After two public meetings, a public survey and a driving assessment of nearly 48,000 housing structures, City of Springfield Planning & Development staff and APD Urban Planning + Management presented the findings of the Springfield Housing Study and the recommended strategies for stabilizing and improving neighborhoods and housing.
Earlier this year, APD drove Springfield neighborhoods with a 360-degree camera, surveying nearly 48,000 housing structures to gather information about housing conditions, age and values; vacant buildings and lots; characteristics of the neighborhoods in each City Council zone; the gap between housing/rental prices and incomes; and the types of housing in Springfield.
- Springfield had a 5% growth in population from 2010 through 2020, with the largest age cohort between 20 and 29. The population of 65+ is projected to increase nearly 25% by 2030.
- The median household income is $37,491. The poverty rate is 22%. There is a mismatch between available housing and incomes, and first-time homebuyers are having difficulty affording a home.
- Homeownership declined by 17% from 2010 to 2020. The home ownership rate is currently 42%.
- 92% of housing in Springfield are single family residential. Current residential zoning is a major contributor to a lack of housing diversity.
- Some of Springfield’s rental housing stock is substandard.
- The most common multifamily housing type is duplex.
- Multifamily homes are primarily located near Missouri State University.
- 97% of all housing structures are occupied.
- Vacant residential lots can be found in most neighborhoods.
- 77% of all housing is in good condition.
- 21% of all housing structures are in fair to worse condition.
- 44% of all housing structures were built between 1950 and 1970.
- 21% were built between 1980 and 2020.
- 30% were built between 1840 and 1940.
- Housing structures in Zone 1 (northwest quadrant of the city) have a broader range of conditions.
- Attendees of the February housing study community meeting listed townhomes, starter homes, workforce housing and tiny homes as housing types missing from Springfield neighborhoods.
- Attendees of the February community meeting listed the following as strengths of Springfield neighborhoods: neighborhood establishment, community engagement, historic homes, diversity in housing, neighborhood character, accessible/walkable communities, affordable homes, transit-oriented development, quality schools and parks/greenspace.
- Weaknesses were ineffective landlords, unaffordable housing, lack of viable rental housing, lack of variety in housing types, vacant housing, blight and decay, walkability/connectivity, development/preservation.
- 74% of those who took the online survey are in favor of regulating rental housing
- 68% are in favor of new housing types
- 61% are in favor of housing affordability assistance programs
- 49% are in favor of new commercial development in neighborhoods
- 45% are in favor of exterior maintenance programs
- 44% are in favor of design standards for neighborhoods
- 40% are in favor of tiny/cottage home developments.
- Increase homeownership rate to 50%+
- Expand homeowner education programs
- Establish a land bank to acquire/hold properties (Note: This would require a change on the state level).
- Encourage employer-assisted housing programs
- Land use restrictions
- Increase amenities in neighborhoods by renovating/repurposing vacant public buildings/lots; preserving/enhancing retail/service nodes and maintaining/upgrading neighborhood open space.
- Increase community retention with adequate stock of starter/affordable homes while preventing gentrification (legacy resident displacement).
- Providing property tax relief for seniors/disabled.
- Increase neighborhood safety with Neighborhood Watch programs, expanded lead and asbestos remediation programs and code enforcement.
Increase connectivity by:
- Completing trail connection
- Building sidewalks in all neighborhoods
- Implementing pedestrian/bike safety improvements
- Expanding micro-transit options.
Encourage complete neighborhoods with:
- increased street tree plantings
- Encouraging construction of a wide range of rental housing, including new housing types/sizes in neighborhoods.
Improve aesthetics and desirability with:
- Prominently branded neighborhoods and by creating and adopting design standards.
Foster economic development by:
- Developing workforce housing
- Preserving and building neighborhood retail/service areas
- Encouraging diverse housing types in high-opportunity neighborhoods
- Offering split-rate taxes.
Improve public safety by:
- Installing street lights where missing
- Acquiring dilapidated/abandoned buildings
- Increasing lighting in public alleys
- Offering neighborhood clean-ups and discouraging illegal dumping
- Promoting Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles to residents.
- Preserve housing with historic designation/protection, affordable housing preservation inventory, demolishing dilapidated structures.
Improve existing housing quality by:
- Expanding/publicizing homeowner rehabilitation programs
- Creating a pre-approved pool of contractors
- Implementing energy improvement programs
- Encouraging participation in Restore SGF Block Challenge Grant Program.
Improve rental housing quality by:
- Adopting and funding a rental regulation program, target inspections and code enforcement more effectively, better code enforcement.
Create funding strategies by:
- Establishing lending partnerships, expanding funding for down payment assistance programs.
- Expanding funding for rental housing improvements
- Expanding and promoting the community land trust.
For more information, please contact Cora Scott at 417-380-3352.