Thursday, April 16, 2015

City identifies concerning housing trend

A recent survey of homes by the City of Marion
shows the classification of street-by-street
residential properties as either owner occupied,
rentals, vacant or an empty lot. To download the
entire survey, click here.
Local officials are concerned by what they think is a negative trend in the housing situation in Marion.

A variety of factors, says Marion City Administrator Mark Bryant, is causing an apparent depreciation in the “housing stock” inside the city limits. While new construction is steady out in the county, Bryant said only one new home has been built within the city limits over the last two and a half years.

“Building in the county appears to be in good health,” Bryant said, “but in the city, we’re not seeing anything. So we decided to take a serious look at the reasons why so we can start thinking about a plan.”

Developing a strategy to change the apparent direction will perhaps be more difficult than the laborious process Marion Code Enforcement Officer Terri Hart put in while cataloging all 1,570 housing units in the city and identifying their status on city a map.

The number of owner-occupied homes in Marion is just under 50 percent. The national average before the housing bust was around 70 percent in 2008. The U.S. average is now at 64 percent, meaning Marion lags grossly behind the country in regard to the number of residents who own their homes.

Twenty-eight percent of the houses inside the city limits are rental units, either single-family dwellings, duplexes or multi-unit apartment complexes.

For more on this story, see the April 15, 2015, edition of The Crittenden Press.

To view a map of the City of Marion indicating
residential properties as either owner occupied, rental,
vacant or an empty lot, click the above image.