Forum will focus on area housing needs

Freedom New Mexico

The Regional Growth Planning Office is putting together the first of what it hopes are many housing forums on Thursday.

The 7:30 a.m. forum at the Clovis Civic Center is expected to take four hours and includes what RGPO Manager Rick Draker said is a good cross-section of locals in the know on housing.

“The whole purpose is to get the people who are directly involved talking about the housing issues, the housing concerns,” Draker said. “Where are we not filling gaps? Is it rental, is it price ranges, is it both?”

The office has a contract to have public input components. One of those components, Draker said, is the forum.

“One of the tasks we have is to organize a housing forum made of Realtors, developers, lenders and Cannon Air Force Base personnel. On Thursday, we have a pretty good cross-section, I think, of guest speakers, starting with (27th Special Operations Wing Commander) Col. (Stephen) Clark.”

Clark is the keynote speaker, and Tim Farmer, chief of the Capital Asset Management office at Cannon, is part of the panel that follows. When contacted for interview requests, Cannon Public Affairs officials directed questions about the forum back to Draker.

Other panel members include area bank presidents, Realtors and representatives with the Home Builders Association of Eastern New Mexico.

About 100 are expected at the forum, Draker said. After the panel presentation is complete, he’s hoping each section can bring information that helps another section.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of repetition,” Draker said. “I hope we do get some fresh numbers, but more importantly, it’s going to be (about) that dialogue between all the parties.”