Diverse Housing Stock
Surge in building permits shows no sign of slowing
In a limestone building on the shores of the Fox River, about 40 miles from Chicago, Batavia Mayor Jeffery Schielke talked excitedly about Spillane’s house remodel located in the city’s historic district. He enjoys seeing affordable, older homes restored to their original beauty instead of being demolished. This helps diversify the city’s housing stock and benefits the entire community.
Batavia has witnessed a surge in building permits issued for repairs, remodeling, or restoration of older homes, and it shows no signs of slowing down. More than 1,800 permits were issued last year, and during the first five months of 2016, the number has already reached 750. This trend suggests work is taking place on a variety of homes, for people with various income levels, and at different stages of life.
Providing diverse housing options allows residents of a city to move within a given neighborhood as their housing needs change. When young families expand they can find and purchase larger homes without relocating to a new neighborhood, while aging residents can downsize without giving up their established support networks. It results in a more enhanced quality of life for residents.
Mayor Schielke understands the role housing options play in economic and community development. He credits teamwork within the city and partnerships with contractors and outside agencies as the reason Batavia continues to identify local housing needs, define the scope and direction of planning efforts, and successfully achieve them. Housing stock is considered part of the city’s critical infrastructure and it’s essential to a recruitment and retention strategy for outside investment, reliable employment and a dynamic workforce.