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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

Displacements squeeze already tight Sikeston rental market

Saturday, June 25, 2011

SIKESTON -- Finding a rental property in Sikeston hasn't been easy in recent years.

But since the spring flooding displaced many, leaving them searching for temporary housing, it's tightened even more.

"It's terrible," said Sue Rogers, co-owner of First Realty in Sikeston, who manages around 140 units, a combination of homes, duplexes and apartments for rent in Sikeston.

Rogers noted that before the flooding, there were typically a few vacancies available with different features, such as the number of bedrooms.

"Before the flood, the supply was much lower than the demand, and now it's even worse," she said. "Right now, all I have open is one one-bedroom apartment."

Dennis Ziegenhorn of 731 Realty in Sikeston agreed the rental market has drastically shrunk since the flooding.

"It's worse availability than we've ever has as far as rental property, because we have inherited some people who were pushed out of their homes," he said.

There are a lot of people in Sikeston who say the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority's acquisition of blighted properties is part of the reason why the rental market is so tight.

But that's not the case, said Trey Hardy, coordinator of community redevelopment for the city. The LCRA is designed to take blighted properties that aren't up to code, clean up and re-plat the lots from 40-feet to 80-feet, and then resell them for development.

"The LCRA did not force anybody out from under a roof," he said. "The LCRA did not target any structures if they were occupied. From a code enforcement standpoint, if people are living there, we do not have the option to condemn it because we would be putting someone out on the street."

To hear more about the LCRA's efforts, comments about the rental market and what can be done to make more properties available, check out the article in the June 26 edition of the Standard Democrat.