Kansas City needs community input for new housing policy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The city is holding the second of four community meetings to gauge neighborhood needs to create a new five-year housing policy Tuesday.

The policy will serve as a guide for the city to provide safe, clean, and affordable housing.

Assistant City Manager and Director of the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department John Wood says repopulating the city's urban core is another goal. 

"And repopulating the older neighborhoods, he explained. "At the same time not pricing the people who currently exist there, currently live there, not pricing them out of their own homes. That's sort of a balance that needs to occur."

He hopes to finish the new housing policy in August and begin implementing some of the options immediately. He warned other initiatives may require changes to city and state policies. 

The last housing policy the city created was over a decade ago, and the market has changed since then.

Many people say the city lacks affordable options for renters.

Right now in KC, homeowners and renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on monthly mortgage or rent payments. 

The South Kansas City Alliance is hosting Tuesday's meeting at 6 p.m. at KCPD's South Patrol building near Bannister Road and 71 Highway. 

President of SKCA Stacey Johnson-Cosby says the group hopes the city doesn't impose unnecessary regulations on rental owners that would scare off would-be investors. 

"Our housing conditions and housing situation, there's a crisis. Again, shortage of inventory. Buyers want to buy homes and there's not enough in the market. We need to encourage builders and developers to come into our market and build homes we need," Johnson-Cosby said. 

The last two meetings are scheduled for Monday, April 23 at the Southeast Community Center, 4201 E. 63rd St. and Wednesday, May 23 at the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, 825 Euclid. The meetings begin at 6 p.m.
 

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