Kansas City votes to require developers to provide affordable housing

Screen Shot 2021 01 29 At 111425

Workers attach a beam to the framework of apartments being constructed at Berkley Riverfront. // Photo by Carlos Moreno KCUR

The Kansas City Council unanimously voted 12-0 Thursday to require residential developers seeking tax breaks to provide a minimal number of affordable units according to KCUR.

The ordinance requires multi-family projects seeking economic incentives to set aside at least 10% of those units for residents earning 70% or less of the area median income. The rent for those units would be $1,000 or less. For those earning 30% or less of the area median income, rent would be approximately $500 to $700 per month depending on family income and apartment size.

“It is time to vote,” says Mayor Quinton Lucas, “It is time to commit for this city to progress on affordable housing.”

Lucas co-sponsored the measure with Councilwoman Melissa Robinson. The law’s effective date is March 29 so the council can explore alternative ways to provide affordable units in potentially including funding or vouchers.

Developers who cannot achieve, or do not set aside, that housing set-aside would pay 110% of the construction cost of the units to the city’s Housing Trust Fund.

Historic restoration projects and projects receiving state or federal low-income housing tax credits are exempt from the measure.

“We have a lot of work to do moving forward and we will commit to continue that work,” says Councilperson Andrea Bough. “The goal here is to ensure that affordable housing is built.”

Low-income residents have trouble finding affordable housing in Kansas City. In 2018, affordable housing was about $1,100 per month, 30% of the median income of Kansas City, MO. Kansas City is making progress by slashing that number in half.

Categories: News