by: Jacob Blount, Ozarks First
The city of Branson has been working towards a specific goal over the last several years. Improving affordable housing options while also enforcing regulations to keep motels liveable.
“So, we’re excited about the opportunity and the outlook of the next five years,” said Joel Hornickel the director of planning and development for the city of Branson.
These steps deal with regulations that extended stay motels must follow to stay in operation. For the last few years, every establishment has been regularly inspected to ensure they are in livable conditions for families staying there.
“Every lodging property has to go through it. And that is a code enforcement property maintenance inspection, that is a fire inspection, that is a health department inspection and the property has to pass all three of those inspections on an annual basis,” said Hornickel.
Bryand Stallings works to help families who are staying in motels by offering different programs and classes at his non-profit, Elevate Branson.
“It helps them not only land a job but keep a job, and earn higher pay than someone who maybe didn’t go through it. And when they do that they can climb the economic ladder,” said Stallings.
Stallings’s goal may be to get families out of extended stay motels but says he does see the positive influence over the years from the city’s regulations.
“Well, I think it’s gotten better just from the standpoint of some of the motels that were older and dilapidated. The city has made some adjustments and shut some of those down, or required to fix them up,” said Stalling.
“We believe that everybody should have the right to a safe place to live and a safe place to fall asleep at night,” said Hornickel.
Elevate Branson in partnership with the Branson Bank was awarded a million-dollar affordable housing grant to help with Eden Village which is a future community of tiny houses.
A video on this story can be seen at the Ozarks First Website.