New federal money increases affordable housing options in Kansas City, Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A federal program means Kansas City, Mo., will be receiving more federal dollars for affordable housing projects.  Part of the federal funding is to help find housing solutions for people living with AIDS.

The Community Development Block Grant money is from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.    In order to receive the money city councilmembers in Kansas City will have to submit a five-year plan detailing how the money will be used.

Kansas City is expected to receive more than $9 million in federal grants. Community Linc in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the several agencies receiving some of the federal dollars to help people.  Community Linc provides free housing and life-skills training for homeless individuals and families.

Teresa McClain, Associate Executive Director at Community Linc explained, "Research shows that those that it's less likely for a family to return to homelessness if they quickly get into a homeless transitional housing program like ours as soon as possible," said McClain.

Mark Stalsworth, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services in Kansas City, Mo., explained that the federal grant programs are one of the best things the government has done for neighborhoods. 

"It gives people in their homes the money they need to make repairs they cannot afford," explained Stalsworth.

"There are many people who would not be able to stay in their homes if they did not get these federal grants," Stalsworth concluded.

It will likely take two months before the federal dollars become available in Kansas City.  Various community agencies will grant the money and oversee the programs and projects.  

Moana Leatutufu and her five children were homeless until they found temporary shelter at Community Linc.  Four months, later, she's moving her family to a place of her own she can afford.

"I am so grateful; I would probably still be homeless if it were not for this program," Leatutufu  said.

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