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City of Manhattan News

Posted on: August 20, 2021

City to Appoint Housing Study Steering Committee

bunch of keys on a house-shaped keychain

On August 17, the Manhattan City Commission approved a process to form a steering committee to help lead the upcoming Housing Market Analysis and Policy Strategy Study. This small, citizen committee will help City staff and the selected consultant team, Development Strategies, Inc., to create a plan to address Manhattan’s housing needs.

“The City has been discussing the need for a housing market analysis for several years,” said Chad Bunger, Assistant Director of Community Development for the City of Manhattan. “We first have to know what the issues and opportunities are, then we can create programs and policies to help address them. Taking these steps now will empower us to develop strategies and address various housing issues in our community, such as availability and affordability, in a meaningful way.”

Led by consultants Development Strategies, Inc., from Wichita and St. Louis, the study will collect and analyze data regarding housing conditions and trends in the area.

Once appointed, Steering Committee members will utilize their diverse perspectives and expertise related to housing needs to assist the City and consulting. Their work will be focused to help the team in developing policies and project recommendations to be included in the study’s implementation plan. The Committee will provide a final recommendation for the City Commission to adopt an official policy document. Committee meetings will be open to the public.

“Ideally, the committee will represent various housing-related organizations, as well as Manhattan’s racial and age diversity, especially because affordable housing challenges disproportionately impact the city's minority populations,” said Bunger.

Development Strategies, Inc. would like to find individuals that identify with one or more of the following categories related to affordable and workforce housing: 

  • Philanthropic organizations  
  • Banking and finance, particularly with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and affordable housing lending experience   
  • Development community; ideally one affordable housing and one market rate, and with experience spanning new construction and rehabilitation/renovation  
  • Realtor’s association   
  • Housing-related social service provider(s), like credit counseling and home buyer education  
  • Advocacy organizations, or individual advocates, with expertise in affordable housing development and preservation, housing stability, and homeless prevention.  
  • Neighborhood-focused non-profits / neighborhood associations  
  • Major employers/business community   
  • University representatives  
  • Economic development partners  
  • Ft. Riley representative 

Steering Committee applicants must not only meet one of the above requirements, but also live or work within Manhattan city limits and commit to attend the vast majority of meetings scheduled for the project throughout the length of the 12-month study.  

Interest forms are now available on the City of Manhattan website Paper versions of the interest form will be shared in several locations throughout the community including City Hall, the Riley County Seniors' Service Center, and the Manhattan Public Library. Interest forms must be submitted no later than 1:00 p.m. Friday, September 3, 2021. The Mayor and City Commissioners will announce committee appointments at their September 21 meeting.

Please contact Chad Bunger at or 785-587-2424 with questions.  

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