Gibson Co. addresses housing shortages amid Toyota jobs announcement

Gibson Co. addresses housing shortages amid Toyota jobs announcement

GIBSON CO., Ind. (WFIE) - With Toyota announcing on Wednesday the company would be adding 1,400 new jobs to the Princeton area, realtors and economic development leaders have turned their focus toward providing more housing in the area.

Gibson County Economic Development CEO Tami Muckerheide says having an influx of new hires to the area is an opportunity to grow the county’s population, and experience all of the benefits that come with it.

However, if people want to settle down in the county, realtor Tim Mason said it won’t be easy.

“They’re walking into what they’re used to in most areas, which is low inventory and high demand,” Mason said.

He explained there aren’t a lot of houses on the open market because building has been less common since the 2008 economic recession.

Mason said that’s been exacerbated by high demand caused by people being pent up due to the COVID-19 pandemic and low interest rates.

If people are looking to buy, Mason suggested they need to be patient, make sure they’re pre-approved by a bank and be ready to make a quick decision.

With such a large number of buyers and few houses available, builders, real estate agencies and economic development officials are working to build as much new housing as they can.

Subdivisions in the area have been cropping up, and economic development has helped facilitate those projects.

Muckerheide explained they’ve been working on improving utilities to attract builders to the area.

“We can prove to developers, ‘We’re ready for you to come in here and build new homes,’” she said.

Muckerheide could not comment on whether or not Toyota would be making any investment to help develop housing for incoming workers.

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