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Development will ease Monmouth housing shortage

A semi truck passes a Monmouth population sign on U.S. Route 67.
Jane Carlson
Tri States Public Radio
Monmouth city leaders say there's a housing shortage due to the growth of several businesses in town, despite population losses. A new housing development is expected to ease the housing crunch.

Despite losses in population over the last few decades, the city of Monmouth needs more places for people to live.

City administrator Lew Steinbrecher said it’s been challenging to attract residential developers to Monmouth but a new 44-unit housing complex now under construction will ease the city’s housing shortage.

Iceberg Development is constructing the $13 million housing complex of 22 energy-efficient duplex buildings on what used to be seven acres of farmland west of Jackson Avenue.

Steinbrecher said the need for housing is due to the growth of Monmouth’s Smithfield Foods pork processing plant and an adjacent cold storage facility over the years and, more recently, a local trucking company.

“We know that a lot of the employees are commuting from other communities as far away as the Quad Cities and Burlington, Iowa,” Steinbrecher said. “It has demonstrated to us for the past several years, that there clearly is a need for additional housing.”

While those businesses have grown, there has been very little new construction of homes in the city of around 9,000.

Instead, blighted and abandoned properties have been demolished, contributing to the housing crunch.

Construction began on the new housing development several months ago with drainage work and the installation of water and sewer utilities.

Contractors are constructing a new street and beginning to pour foundations for the buildings.

The new housing is expected to be completed this summer.

“We hope it will be used as fuel to attract the interest of other developers willing to invest in residential development here in Monmouth,” Steinbrecher said.

The city will host a groundbreaking ceremony for Monmouth Townhomes at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.