The city of Kansas City, Missouri is wisely basing many of their neighborhood revitalization efforts on redevelopment projects that increase the supply of affordable housing.
local officials say they are “committed to investing in housing opportunities to close affordability gaps, generate new forms of transitional services, rehabilitate and repurpose infrastructure, and revitalize neighborhoods.”
Through the Central City Economic Development (CCED) fund, $11.9 million was allocated in 2023 to 10 projects, with over half of those projects adding affordable residential units across the funding district.
The Central City Economic Development sales tax district started in 2017. A 1/8 percent sales tax generating revenue to fund economic development projects on the east side of Kansas City was approved by the voters citywide.
These funds are used for construction of mixed-income housing, preservation of existing rental housing and owner-occupied housing.
The funding will also prioritize the implementation of a blight and clearance initiative to redevelop formally blighted parcels into new housing.
Council also passed the Housing Department’s action plan for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds. $13.8 million dollars will be allocated between the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) Program, HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Grant, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program upon final approval by HUD.
The Housing Department recommended that childcare and youth services organizations, including those providing public services like Guadalupe Centers, Operation Breakthrough, WEB DuBois Learning Center, Rose Brooks Center and Urban Rangers receive HUD funding.
In addition, Housing staff recommended several homeless prevention organizations for this HUD allocation, including, but not limited to, Amethyst Place, Benilde Hall, Community Assistance Council, Journey to New Life, Metropolitan Lutheran Ministry, Synergy, ReStart, Sheffield Place, and Reconciliation Services. Plus, staff recommended funding to public facilities like the Rose Brooks Center, Westside Housing, and Morning Star Development.
The Housing Department understands the need to remove blight in the city; it selected Urban Building Solutions and Ascendant Real Property Renovation for an award recommendation.
Next, Housing staff identified KC HOMES Project and CHES to receive funds to construct new homes in the Marlborough/Key Coalition and Blue Hills neighborhoods. Finally, HOPWA funding of $2.1 million will provide supportive housing services for persons with AIDS was recommended for reStart, Inc. and SAVE, Inc.
The Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) HOME-ARP funding will provide an additional $8,397,188 in funding, once approved by HUD. Kansas City requested this funding go toward non-congregate shelter to provide homeless services to vulnerable households and families.
Some of the proposed projects include:
- Jamestown – 2701 E. 43rd St.
Received $836,049 in CCED funds to go toward the new construction of 24 residential housing units, 12 of those are affordable housing units.
- Sanford B Ladd School Redevelopment Project – 3640 Benton Boulevard
Received $3 million in CCED funds to go toward remodeling the 60-year-old building and creating 51 total residential housing units, with 15 of those being affordable housing units.
- Jazz District III – South side of 18th and Vine
Awarded $4 million in CCED funds toward developing a mixed-used building with 48 brand new affordable housing units.
- Flora Avenue Apartments and Childcare – 2103-2105 Flora Avenue
Awarded $573,743 in CCED funds toward developing 6 residential housing units, with 2 of those being affordable housing units.
- Sisters in Christ Serenity House – 2604 Lockridge Road
Awarded $678,268 in CCED funds toward the renovation of 5 transitional units.
- Allenwood – 2809 E. Linwood Boulevard
Received $667,718 in CCED funds to create 9 affordable mixed-income units.
- Urbanity – 2461 Prospect Avenue
Received $686,306 in CCED funds to create a mixed-use building with 4 affordable housing units.
- Washington Wheatley Revitalization Plan
Received $250,000 in CCED funds toward minor home repair in the Washington Wheatley Neighborhood.
- 2000 Vine – 2000 Vine
Awarded $950,000 in CCED funds toward the site development of a mixed-use building which includes office, event space and art gallery.
- Neyan’s Place – 1414 E. 30th Street
Awarded $350,000 in CCED funds toward the creation of 6 affordable housing units.
The Housing Department also recently launched its free online housing locator, KCHousingLocator.com, which will be fully supported by a toll-free, bilingual call center.
The website is a one-stop shop for Housing counselors, landlords, individuals, and families in need of affordable housing and related resources in Kansas City.
The official launch date of KCHousingLocator.com is June 6, 2023. Kansas City landlords are encouraged to go to the website and enter information prior to that time showing available property to rent.
Kansas City continues to explore new ways to promote the development of affordable housing. It is committed to working with residents, developers, and community organizations to ensure all residents have access to the housing they need.
Photos courtesy of the City of Kansas City.