A series of meetings in conjunction with a housing study began Wednesday afternoon with a kickoff session, and topics ranged from the current availability and prices of housing to the perception of the community and quality of life.
    About two dozen communities representing a wide range of professions and organizations met with consultants Steven Spillette and Scott Reining, of Houston-based Community Development Strategies, for the kickoff in a Texas State Technical College conference room.
    The consultants planned to meet with representatives of financial institutions later Wednesday afternoon, followed by meetings with groups including realtors, apartment managers and rental property owners, home builders, developers and employers Thursday and Friday.
    The two consultants led an informal discussion, and there was no disagreement on several themes including insufficient market-rate apartments for young adults.
    Rental property is scarce, and rental property in good condition is expensive — $900 a month or more, Realtor Ann Jones said.
    Buyers who move to Brownwood from the Metroplex believe prices are high for the homes that are available for sale, Jones and other participants said.
    Brownwood is a hard place to be single but a great place to raise a family, and the challenge is keeping students and other young people in Brownwood, participants agreed.
    There has been a faulty perception, participants agreed, that Brownwood schools are not as good as other nearby schools.
     The Brownwood Municipal Development District board recently approved the housing study, which is intended to analyze the existing housing supply and determine the demand and pricing of new housing.