With an aging West Carrollton population, the city may want to shift its focus to cater more toward the lifestyle of current and future senior citizens.
At the same time, West Carrollton’s considerable rental housing occupied largely by younger residents - coupled with reasonably priced homes - could make the city ripe to stabilize its population.
Those are among the findings in a market analysis the city commissioned last fall. The report by Doug Harnish of Market Metric$ LLC of Dayton cost West Carrollton $8,000 and uses information compiled in the final quarter of 2015 and the first three months of this year.
“In terms of housing, I anticipate council will want to talk about if we need to enhance our services to our senior population in the face of the changing demographics,” City Manager Brad Townsend said.
“But in the long term – as the study points out – there’ll be housing opportunities that will become available that we’ll want to try to market to younger families,” he added.
The median age of West Carrollton’s estimated 13,000 residents is projected to increase nearly a year by 2020, according to the report. It is expected to jump from 37.9 years in 2015 to 38.8 years. Meanwhile, the median age for head of household is expected to go from 50.3 years to 52 years during that same time frame.
By 2020, 45.4 percent of heads of household in West Carrollton are projected to be age 55 or older, an increase of almost 4 percent from 2015, according to the report.
With this aging trend the city needs to “start looking at trying to attract some services that will serve our senior population,” West Carrollton Economic Development Director Michael Lucking said.
That largely includes retail and commercial-oriented businesses, such medical-related services, he said.
“I think the community is fairly under served with drug stores,” Lucking said.
“We’ve been working with a drug store prospect that I think will help supplement the need for seniors,” he added. “Those are types of areas I’m going to focus my activities.”
At the same time, according to the analysis, “in addressing the needs of the senior segment of the population, the youthful segment of the population cannot be overlooked.
“Dining, entertainment and physical activities would appear to be in demand in this segment of the population,” it states.
Said Lucking, “I think there’s a lot of data that’s good – particularly with respect to our housing.”
“We know certainly who is living in our community,” he added. “I think we’ve got to figure how we start to provide some opportunities in this community that will attract and retain a younger population over time. So that certainly was pretty important.”
The study indicates West Carrollton can capitalize on the younger residents who make up the majority living in the city’s rental housing, which constitutes more than 40 percent of city dwellings.
“Given the large number of rental units in the city, a campaign emphasizing “Start Here-Stay Here” could convert tenants to owners with very little difference in monthly housing costs,” the analysis states.
“Such a campaign could also begin to back fill the aging homeowner base with a much more youthful segment of the population that could add to future community stability.”