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Report estimates 1 in 6 city housing units vacant

By Seth Schmidt

 

Except for a brief time last summer, this house on Second St. has been vacant for more than 25 years.

Roughly one out of every six residential units in Tracy is vacant, according to a recently completed analysis done for the Tracy Economic Development Authority.

The EDA’s “Business Retention and Expansion Survey” included information about the community’s housing stock, plus demographic data about the town’s population.

The survey estimated that 167 (16.2%) of Tracy’s 1,031 housing units are vacant. “For sale” properties made up 14 of the vacant units, with “for rent” vacancies listed at 46.  A total of 107 Tracy housing units were labeled “other vacant.”

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Survey data showed that the majority of Tracy housing is more than a half-century old.

A total of 61.3% of Tracy’s housing was built prior to 1960.  Another 28.1% of Tracy’s residential units were constructed between 1960 and 1980.  According to the report, only 10.6% of Tracy housing is of newer vintage than 1980.

On average, Tracy’s housing stock is older than the national average.  Nationally, 29.5% of housing in the U.S.  was built before 1960.

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Housing costs in Tracy are much less than national averages.

The median monthly mortgage cost in Tracy, according to the survey, is $863, compared with a national average of $1,522.  The median gross rent in Tracy is $420 a month, compared with $920 across the country.

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Principal sources of data for the survey were the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, and U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

City Administrator Mike Votca said that city staff has come up with a list of about 70 vacant residential properties in the city. He feels this figure is more accurate than the 16% rate listed in the EDA report, but still a matter of concern.

Next week: Data about Tracy’s population.