Mayor Lucas and Rep. Cleaver announce $8.3 million for unhoused population

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Mayor Quinton Lucas. // Courtesy KC Government.

A portion of $8.3 million allocated from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will fund 140 beds for the unhoused population in Kansas City through the Tiny Homes Initiative.

KCMO will create a village with individual cabins to provide emergency transitional housing for the unhoused with office space onsite to provide services such as health care, counseling, and employment assistance.

“The coronavirus pandemic has impacted all Americans, but the homeless population has been acutely vulnerable,” says Rep. Emanuel Cleaver. “The American Rescue Plan is once again coming to the aid of those most in need of its assistance. The recent allocation of $8.3 million to Kansas City to address homelessness through affordable housing, as well as a separate allocation of 164 Emergency Housing Vouchers, awarded to the Housing Authority of Kansas City, exemplifies Congress’ commitment to providing direct support to communities and our district.”

These 140 beds in cabins will be provided by Pallet, a social purpose company that builds access to housing and employment. City staff is currently assessing locations for the village which will have shower and laundry facilities on site. Merging KC, a non-profit dedicated to ending homelessness, will help coordinate onsite services and oversee construction of the transitional housing village.

“Ensuring all Kansas City families have access to safe and affordable housing must and will remain a priority well into the future—and this funding allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development helps to provide the funding necessary to do so,” says Mayor Quinton Lucas. “Kansas City is privileged to have Congressman Cleaver as a leading voice on housing in the United States Congress and I thank him for his continued advocacy for our community.”

The Tiny Homes Initiative is similar to the Monarch Village in Lawrence, a tiny home community of 12 units that can house up to 48 individuals. Studio 804 in the University of Kansas School of Architecture and the Lawrence Community Shelter have combined efforts on this project.

More KCMO initiatives for the unhoused population:

  • More than 300 people have moved from tent encampments to hotel rooms. KCMO is providing access to wrap-around services to help stabilize these individuals’ living situations. According to the city, this is a 90-day program.
  • The City Council has established an Unhoused Task Force that includes members of the unhoused community and other stakeholders. A listening session was held on April 24 by Councilmember, and Chair of the Unhoused Task Force, Ryana Parks-Shaw to gather feedback from those experiencing homelessness and service providers for upcoming policy decisions.
  • KCMO has invested $8.5 million to support community organizations that provide housing, emergency shelter, outreach, counseling, rent and utility assistance, and more to serve those experiencing homelessness.
  • A new stand-alone Housing Department is being created to focus on tenant advocacy, unhoused solutions, affordable housing, and community development.
  • An additional $14.8 million in federal relief is now available to tenants through several community organizations. This website provides more information, an online application, and a list of agencies to call for immediate help.
Categories: Politics