Pharos-Tribune

Editorials

January 31, 2014

OUR VIEW: Taking on the housing shortage

We’re making some progress.

A quick look at the unemployment numbers just released will tell you that. Cass County is down to 6.5 percent, its lowest level since October 2008. And there’s more good news on the job front as several local companies have announced new jobs — 25 at Carter Fuel Systems, 30 at the former Modine manufacturing facility, 48 at Scott’s Square truck stop in Clymers, and 25 at Cass City Center.

But if we want to take this progress to the next level, we must equip ourselves to play the game.

The hard truth of the matter is if a major investment came knocking at our door tomorrow, we wouldn’t be ready.

That’s the message Jim Hayden gave during his outgoing address as the 2013 board chairman of the City of Logansport Economic Development organization.

And if the real estate market is any indication, some area leaders seem to agree.

Economic development leaders and real estate brokers around Cass County are saying the local market has seen fewer houses listed at this time than normal, and very few houses suitable for a key demographic: Mid-level employees who want to move their families close to their work.

Finding a move-in-ready, mid-level home in Logansport has proved taxing for some.

The problem with that is real estate is one of the first things businesses look at when they’re thinking of opening a facility or office in a city. If there’s a lack of housing for middle and upper management positions, it puts a community at a competitive disadvantage when trying to attract or retain workers.

And what’s worse, local real estate agents tell us, some of those middle and upper management employees are working in Logansport and buying houses in Kokomo and Lafayette, or around the lakes in Monticello and Rochester.

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