1. Forecast Housing Units

The City of Kalamazoo is projected to increase from 31,488 housing units in the year 1990 to 34,023 housing units in the year 2015 as a result of a continuing decline in household size and a slight increase in the vacancy rate. Because of housing unit demolitions, new housing units resulted in only 46.4 percent more total housing units in the decade of the 1980's. Assuming the same rate of housing demolitions in future years, 5,463 new dwelling units will have to be built between the year 1990 and 2015 to add 2,535 units to the total housing stock. This translates to about 220 new housing units per year, comparable to the 212 units per year built over the past 16 years.

2. Forecast Housing Characteristics

Over the past sixteen years, multiple-family housing has accounted for 89 percent of the new housing construction. Because new housing is predominantly multiple-family and existing housing has shifted to rental occupancy with the departure of middle and upper income home owners to the suburbs, the portion of owner-occupied housing is forecast to decline from 47.4 percent in the year 1990 to 40.1 percent in the year 2015.

3. Demand for Residential Land

Based on the single-family/multiple-family split of new home construction, assuming new single-family units are built at a density of 4 units per acre and assuming new single-family units are built at a density of 10 units per acre, the demand for residential land is as follows between the years 1995 and 2015 for 4,865 units (i.e., 5,463 dwelling units less 598 units built from 1990 through 1995):

  • single-family units absorbing 134 acres; and
  • multiple-family units absorbing 433 acres.

If housing demolitions over the next 20 years were predominantly single-family units, nearly 652 acres of vacant land would be generated. Accordingly, infill development on vacant land created through housing demolitions could accommodate much of the new housing.

Appendix A: Countywide Building Permit Activity

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