1 Dearborn Study Focuses on Dearborn County Housing Needs

Home construction in Dearborn County

A housing study commissioned by One Dearborn Inc. shows that the county needs more opportunities for affordable housing as an economic-development tool, and for an aging population looking to downsize.

Among the key findings of the study:

  • Households with annual incomes below $75,000 per year are lacking access to homes priced below $200,000.
  • An aging population is ready for homes with less maintenance.
  • There is a predicted lack of growth in number of school age children in the coming years.
  • There is a need for housing for local workforce.

The implementation plan recommends exploring programs that have been successful in other communities for first-time home buyers; closing the gap for builders through creative financing; exploring more housing density where appropriate; a pilot program for renovation of historic homes; and taking advantage of government housing programs.

The Deaborn County Home Builders Association (DCHBA) previewed the Dearborn County Housing Market Analysis & Implementation Plan at a recent event coordinated by One Dearborn and sponsored by Civista Bank. DCHBA had been asked for their insights and concerns about the housing situation as the individuals closest to the issue, and those concerns were echoed by local community leaders during the development of the  Dearborn County Regional Economic Development Plan.

“That plan identified housing as one of the ‘Big 8’ Economic Impact Drivers, and One Dearborn’s Board of Directors made the market analysis a high priority for 2019,” said One Dearborn president Terri Randall.  “An advisory team was assembled, included individuals with first-hand experience --  builders, realtors, banks, planners, land specialists, elderly services and community leaders. “

Ratio Design, Indianapolis was hired to lead the project. Ratio Design analyzed the Cincinnati housing market, Dearborn County market and divided the data into submarkets to ensure portions of the county that were uniquely different were carved out.

“We all agreed the study needed to take us well beyond a pile of data and get down to isolating the issues and building potential solutions,” said Randall.

“One Dearborn will continue to support efforts around these issues, especially with regard to being a partner to our local communities,”Michael Schwebler, Highpoint Health CEO and One Dearborn board president. “We hope this information will be a starting point, help with planning and bring new ideas and solutions.”

The executive summary and full report is available on the One Dearborn website via this link: https://1dearborn.org/reports. Questions can be directed to One Dearborn at trandall@1dearborn.org.