In December, 2000, the Samuel Gill Marketing Service completed a comprehensive housing needs study of the Wilson area. The study found that persons age 65 and older comprised 31% of the population and head 45% of the households in Wilson. According to the Gill study, "169 senior households were within the income range of $12,000 to $22,194 which would enable prospective tenants to quality for the proposed development.
The study further stated that: At the time of the field survey there was only one apartment complex in Wilson that was specifically designed for seniors. . . . After researching the vacancy rates of the existing units in the area, it is firmly believed that the subject property will satisfy a portion of the continued demand for units within the market area. It is estimated that 90+ percent occupancy level can be achieved in a 1 to 2 month time frame.
Interviews with apartment managers substantiated the absorption rate. It was the opinion of the analysis that the proposed property would absorb 3 to 4 units per month; therefore, reaching full absorption within 2 months. Several local citizens were also interviewed including a representative of the Wilson City Hall. All people expressed the opinion that additional rental housing was needed in Wilson. Apartment managers and owners were also interviewed; these people all indicated that additional rental housing was needed. Based on the analysis, need in Wilson for additional rental housing, especially for the elderly, was evident.
Community support was necessary for this project to receive financial assistance from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, the Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kansas Department on Aging. Czech Cottages was endorsed by the Wilson City Council, Wilson Senior Center, Wilson Fire Department, Wilson Economic Development Corporation, Wilson Chamber of Commerce, Lang Memorial Library Board of Directors, and the Amazing 100 Miles Tourism Coalition.
In addition, Czech Cottages received endorsements from then U.S. Congressman, Jerry Moran, Kansas State Senator Janis Lee, and State Representatives Laura McClure and Jerry Aday.
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