There are signs that the much-anticipated migration of some Toyota management employees and their families from other company plants to Mississippi is getting underway.
We are beginning to hear reports that people are looking both in New Albany and Union County as well as Tupelo and areas in Lee County.
We understand the need will be both single-family houses for permanent employees, and quality rentals, especially for people involved in getting the plant and other supplier plants operational.
The city of New Albany’s draw is, as we expected, its reputation for quality public schools with good academics and a decent offering in its high school curriculum.
Its drawbacks center on housing, with a lack of new single-family housing available within the city and almost no available quality rentals.
The single-family market has been hurt by the recession that pretty much eliminated houses being built on spec, and the financial skullduggery on Wall Street that led to much tighter rules on lending.
The recession and financing issues also have slowed planned construction of new rentals. The existing rental market continues to be a mish-mash, with the city’s failure to require landlords to meet minimum standards and upgrade rentals.
The recession and financing issues are what they are. We hope that some new housing construction, both single-family and rental, can get underway. And we fault the city for allowing the rental situation to deteriorate to its present condition.
Families coming from other states have perceptions about housing, neighborhoods and amenities shaped by their prior communities. The recession and the lack of a commitment from the city to deal with the neighborhood upkeep and amenity issues, are hurting our ability to meet their expectations.