Mayor, city leaders announce new initiatives to provide affordable housing to homeless Kansas Citians

Mayor Q

Two new affordable housing initiatives will be part of the city’s efforts to support Kansas Citians experiencing homelessness, as announced today. // Image courtesy of Mayor Quinton Lucas

Over 100 blighted properties in Kansas City will soon be transformed into homes for those experiencing homelessness. 

Through the Land Bank Dollar Sale program, the city will sell redeveloped homes for $1 given that property owners fully rehabilitate the homes, which will then be made available to anyone in need of housing. An open forum at 6 p.m. on April 1 will allow members of the community to provide input on the project. The meeting will take place both in person on the first floor of 4400 Blue Pkwy and virtually via Microsoft Teams. 

The city also intends to build new affordable housing units at the Barney Allis Plaza site. According to city manager Brian Platt, the design process for this project will begin soon. 

“We think this is an excellent opportunity for us as a city to show the city and show the country and show the world how we can transform public assets into something that serves those who are most in need,” Platt says. “We think this is going to become an example, a case study, for those across the country that can turn city property into affordable housing units for those who need it the most.” 

These initiatives come as part of Kansas City’s plan to expand services and assistance for the city’s homeless population. Mayor Quinton Lucas and city leaders held a press conference at 12 p.m. today to detail the city’s efforts to provide resources to Kansas Citians experiencing homelessness, following a year where many have felt the economic burden of COVID-19. 

The city is providing over $23 million this year toward addressing the needs of homeless Kansas Citians. $8.5 million is allocated for community organizations that provide services to residents such as housing, emergency shelter, outreach, counseling, rent and utility assistance. Federal funding made another $14.8 million available to tenants through several community organizations. Kansas City will also soon receive almost $97.5 million from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which could go toward easing the housing and health burdens the city is still experiencing from the past year.

“We need to change how we address everything in housing,” Lucas says. “If you know someone who’s experiencing homelessness, we are committed to finding a place for them not just to sleep, but to receive services to be able to change and make a difference in their lives. And we’re going to continue that commitment as time goes on.” 

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