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New Albany partnering with U of L on housing study

A portrait of New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan
City of New Albany
New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan and other officials are partnering with the University of Louisville's Urban Studies Institute to study the city's housing stock.

New Albany is partnering with the University of Louisville on a housing study to see how the city can help improve access to home ownership.

Mayor Jeff Gahan recently announced he and the New Albany Redevelopment Commission will be working with U of L’s Urban Studies Institute on a comprehensive look at the city’s housing stock.

The researchers will study current home ownership rates and the rental market, and provide recommendations on where city leaders can help improve opportunities for families and individuals to own homes.

They’ll look at data including population, household income and vacancy rates.

“Over the past several years as our city continues to grow, many local developers have invested in apartments and rental units within the City of New Albany,” Gahan said in a news release. “But now, it is time to focus on long-term home ownership for the people of New Albany, and provide new opportunities and pathways for first-time buyers and others to invest in a home.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city’s owner-occupied housing rate was around 57% between 2017 and 2021, with a medium home value of $139,500.

The median gross rent during that time was just over $850 per month.

New Albany City Council member Adam Dickey, who serves on the redevelopment commission, said it’s good to have a mix of housing available based on residents’ needs — whether that’s owning or renting.

He added that helping more people achieve home ownership can help them invest in their future and the community.

“Anytime that you own your home, you're making an investment and building your own personal wealth,” he said. “Each month, you own more of that property until at some point, you've paid off that mortgage, and now that property is yours.”

Dickey said the city is paying around $16,000 for the study. Results are expected by late September.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.