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Kansas City votes YES on Question 2, approving $50 million to create deeply affordable housing

KC Tenants at council meeting
Posted at 7:14 PM, Nov 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-09 20:21:36-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Question 2, an initiative written with the help of KC Tenants and city leaders, passed Tuesday - and $50 million will be allocated into the Kansas City Housing Trust Fund for deeply affordable housing. 

The initiative was approved by both the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council and Neighborhood Planning Committee last month.

Thanks to “YES" votes on Question 2, people dealing with housing insecurity could have relief.

“A lot of people are homeless right now, and a lot of that is because we don't have an adequate supply of affordable housing, so we need to increase that supply,” said 2nd District City Councilman Dan Fowler. 

Phil Washington of Kansas City could be one of those people impacted by the passing of the initiative.

“Imagine not being able to come home to that place or idea that you call home,” Washington said. 

This is the reality for Washington, a delivery driver at Knabes Market in Kansas City, as he works to sort out his life.  

“I just got out of prison," Washington said. "I've been out of prison (for) three years. I did 17 years. I'm employed, but I'm homeless.”  

He now feels like a gap is finally closing when it comes to finding a place to live, something he’s struggled with since getting out of prison, thanks to his criminal record and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I'm grateful because my situation is a real situation,” Washington said.

Washington says this money could help folks like him unpack the hardship in their life.

“I'm here, and now it's about stability,” said Washington.  

With the initiative being passed, Washington says he can now drive his life in a new direction.

“(With) this truly affordable housing, I can get into a place, I can settle and really start focusing on some priorities and say, "Let's get this credit in line,'” said Washington.  

Councilman Fowler says it will take time but give many a new outlook on life.

“$50 million will be financed over a period of time (and) it will come in over the next five years,” said Councilman Fowler. “Housing is absolutely essential. For everyone, it's the core thing.”