Regional Housing Needs Assessment & Market Study Planning Services
The North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission is soliciting proposals for Regional Housing Needs Assessment and Market Study Planning Services. The selected consultant will provide a Regional Housing Needs Assessment and Market Study for North Central’s six-county region. The contract for services is not to exceed $58,500 and will run through June 2022. A copy of the RFP is available at by clicking HERE! Copies are also available by sending a written request to:
North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning & Development Commission
Attn: Brittany Wortman
49 Ridgmont Drive
Ridgway, Pennsylvania 15853
The electronic submission of completed proposals will be accepted through February 4, 2022.
Regional Housing Needs Assessment and Market Study –
Questions & Answers
Q1:“Parcel and CAMA data from the six counties in the North Central region will be crucial to this effort, counties like Clearfield charge $3,000 for their data. Should we be planning on including these costs in any proposed scope of work, or could North Central help facilitate the acquisition of the data for use in this regional project?”
A1: The selected consulting group will not be expected to include the costs for parcel and CAMA data for the six counties in their proposed scope of work. North Central will assist with receiving the data from each of the six counties for the project. North Central has already reached out to each of the six counties and asked that they grant us access to use the county GIS data for this regional plan. Although we are still waiting on a couple of responses, we are assuming that access will be granted to use the data. The counties have been very willing to provide data in the past for similar plans that benefit the region.
Q2: “A few questions regarding the population projections requested in the RFP; what geographies are these projections being requested for? (County/township/village,etc.) Any geographies lower than county will require significant local data input (building permits, occupation tax roles, etc.) that we wouldn’t be able to create if it doesn’t already exist.”
A2: The population projections being requested in the RFP are at a county level. The data that each county will be providing will include county level data on roads, parcels, and bridges. The North Central Region has developed a lot of regional plans in the past and has found that each of the counties are great at providing data input where possible.
Q3: “Since the only available projections from the PA state data center are based on 2010 data, any projections produced in this effort will likely be top media stories – is the planning commission willing to speak to the data, or will that be up to Sixmo only? Also just for side commentary, there has been some political hesitation to accept forecasts of declining population in Ohio – Cuyahoga County particularly could not accept that population had decreased below 1 million, etc. A quick glance at the six counties and their past data trends tells me that the counts are likely to show continuing decreases. Might not be a concern for your folks, but I’d be remiss in not sharing that there have been challenges in other localities.”
A3: At this time, North Central is looking at this assessment to be more of an internal planning document that will be shared with some internal programs such as our CEDS committee and PREP partners. We are not forecasting that the projections made will be top media stories being that we are in the preliminary stage of the planning process; however, it will be up to consulting group to provide projections and speak to the data. North Central would support the consultant in such a situation. North Central recognizes that our region has a continued decline in population. Our current CEDS plan recognizes that our population is decreasing. We are also creating a CEDS and Resiliency Plan update that will address this as well. One of the reasons that we would like to develop this Housing Needs Assessment and Market Study is to try and assist with planning for this decline.
Q4: “If there’s any other clarity/background you could provide on the request for projections in general, that would be helpful.”
A4: Listed in the RFP on page 4, section D. “Housing Stock, Trends, and Projections” is a list of projections that North Central is looking to the consultant to provide based on their experience and expertise along with data that will be provided to them. North Central does not currently have any regional data on housing inventory, so having a projection on the housing inventory along with what type of housing would be helpful. By looking at historical data, the consultant should be able to predict future housing projections of the current housing market. This will assist with futuristic projects in the North Central Region. There is a North Central staff person identified who will be able to assist in fielding data questions, but it will be up to the consultant to look at the current data and make projections based on that. North Central is looking to the consultant to analyze current data and project future data. If you feel that there are challenges with completing this task, that should be expressed in the proposal. Included in the proposal should also be what you will need from the North Central team in order to effectively complete the plan.
Q5: “Does NCPRP have access to electronic parcel or assessment data for the region? If yes, do these databases include property types, housing styles, housing conditions, square footage, and housing values? If not, do the counties have this data in electronic formats?”
A5: The selected consulting group will not be expected to include the costs for parcel and CAMA data for the six counties in their proposed scope of work. North Central will assist with receiving the data from each of the six counties for the project. North Central has already reached out to each of the six counties and asked that they grant us access to use the county GIS data for this regional plan. The data that the county is providing is on roads, parcels, and bridges. If the chosen consulting firm needs additional data from what the counties provided, then we can inquire with each of the counties.
Q6: “Has NCPRP subscribed to or have access to any real estate MLS services?”
A6: North Central does not subscribe to or have access to MLS Services.
Q7: “Given the geographic size of the region, virtual or online meetings may be needed to provide sufficient coverage for public input. More businesses, organizations, and communities have embraced various online tools and forums over the past two years. What has been your experience with virtual or online meetings in the region? Would they be useful to expand public input across the region?”
A7: North Central has found that virtual public meetings have been very effective in accommodating a vast majority of the region. We have also found that having hybrid meetings has worked out very well as those who prefer to attend meetings in person are still able to, but the option is also there to join virtually. This seems to work well at accommodating everyone who would like to attend a meeting.
Q8: “The report calls out the need for affordable and workforce housing. Have any projects been proposed in the region? To what degree have these projects been blocked by NIMBY-ism related to specific sites? Does the consultant need to consider the potential for public resistance to affordable/workforce housing in the recommendations and implementation?”
A8: There have been some studies previously done in the region that address affordable workforce housing; however, besides studies there has not been anything else that has been done to move forward with projects. Workforce Solutions for North Central Pennsylvania completed a study in 2018 titled “MEAA/Workforce Solutions Action Items” that mentions housing and can be made available upon request. At this time, this housing study will be an internal document; however, public participation will be solicitated later down the road in the implementation process. While completing recommendations of the study, the consultant should consider some resistance dependent on the type of housing being suggested.
Q9: “The report calls for forecasts. Would it also be useful to combine the forecasts with scenario planning to cover different potential paths/outcomes related to population growth/decline and changes in the housing supply?”
A9: It would most likely be useful to combine forecasts with scenario planning to cover various potential paths/ outcomes related to population growth/decline and changes in the housing supply. North Central is looking to the chosen consulting group to provide their expertise on housing needs planning. Putting any suggestions in the proposal will help North Central in choosing the correct consulting group as well.