- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Officials in northern Kentucky cities along the Ohio River seem to be having some success in stemming population loss in urban areas with new development and an appeal to baby boomers.

The Kentucky Enquirer (https://cin.ci/1x5oQ4M) reports census estimates show the population has remained at 67,000 in Covington, Newport, Dayton and Bellevue since the 2010 census - a small victory in an area that’s seen losses over the last six decades.

Newport City Manager Tom Fromme says 800 housing units have either been completed or are under construction since the last census.

“In 2020, as long as it’s an accurate count, I think you’re going to see a big jump in the numbers,” Fromme said. “You’re going to have 700-800 units that’s going to be added since the last census. And that’s just right now. Who knows what’s to come? We might add another 700-800 units.”

In Dayton, a long-stalled plan for 2,000 homes is getting off the ground.

Rachel Hastings, with the community development organization Center for Great Neighborhoods in Covington, said baby boomers are starting to move into urban areas.

“I think as a society, we tell people when you have children you have to move to the suburbs and raise them there,” Hastings said. “Now a lot of those folks that made that decision 20 or so years ago are maybe saying this isn’t really where I wanted to be.”

The agency is renovating five small cottages that they thought would appeal to young artists and first-time homebuyers. Instead, older homeowners bought all but one of the homes.

Covington City Manager Larry Klein says the city plans to use its mix of urban and residential charm to attract empty nesters like Bob and Jane Hebbeler.

“The river is very attractive,” said Bob Hebbeler, who wanted to downsize but remain near restaurants and attractions. “The Covington side is quieter than the Banks and offers a small town atmosphere with access to the ballpark, restaurants and other attractions that are all within walking distance of our residence. It is very convenient.”


Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, https://www.nky.com

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