Tippecanoe County looks to diversify housing

Greater Lafayette housing stakeholders are creating neighborhoods of the future but they're taking a different approach.

Posted: Apr 15, 2019 10:40 PM
Updated: Apr 15, 2019 10:43 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - County and city leaders, builders, developers and realtors in Tippecanoe County went to Monday's housing strategy meeting to listen. 

"We want to hear what people want," said Jay Andrew, a board member for the Builders Association of Greater Lafayette.

Greenstreet consulting took a year to find out what people want when it comes to housing. 

"More and more people are feeling the pinch and having trouble meeting the housing needs on their own income," said Mark O'Neall, Senior Associate at Greenstreet.

Understanding what homeowners and renters value, could help stakeholders understand where to invest and where to cut cost. The study found household sizes are changing.

"People living alone or just with a partner are growing a lot faster than families," said O'Neall. 

"Families used to be larger than what they are and now they are much smaller," said Lafayette Director of Economic Development Dennis Carson. "You know, having less children and then people getting married later, so, all of those things are effecting those housing choices."

In many cases, those smaller families are looking for less space. Andrew can see this type of housing work in downtown Lafayette.

"Some more of the high rise mix use stuff, so you can kind of have a restaurant down below, have some of the amenities some people are looking for," said Andrew. 

However, the city knows it can't be limited to downtown. They'll have to expand to surrounding neighborhoods to be successful.

"Have enough rooftops and people that would support a downtown grocery store," said Carson. 

Their overall goal isn't just to house people, it's to give them a place they want to live, a forever home.

"Just making sure that we are a fun city to live in you can prosper here but you can also have fun on a week night, a weekend and be happy with your daily life," said Builders Association of Greater Lafayette member Jennie Dekker. 

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