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KCMO City Council approves $50 million affordable housing bond funding

Funding will go to city's Housing Trust Fund
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Posted at 5:47 PM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 18:47:38-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council voted to approve a resolution that will designate a $50 million bond funding for affordable housing to the Housing Trust Fund.

The resolution passed out of committee with four votes and a recommendation for Council to pass.

The resolution was written by KC Tenants leaders and is sponsored by council members Melissa Robinson, Andrea Bough, Eric Bunch and KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas.

The Neighborhood Planning Committee unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday to make certain if voters approve a $50 million bond issue, the money would be sent to the Housing Trust Fund.

Question 2 on the November ballot in KCMO asks voters to approve issuing $50 million in general obligation bonds to fund affordable housing and remove blight.

“Together we can ensure every person in our city is housed, fed, and given access to the resources needed to have a healthy, safe and joyful life,” a KC Tenants member said.

Members of KC Tenants shared stories and the hardships of lives derailed by the homeless and by housing too expensive to afford.

“It wasn’t long before I found myself homeless and couch surfing for six months before I could no longer afford an apartment in midtown,” one member of KC Tenants told councilmembers.

Councilwoman Robinson and leaders with KC Tenants said the money, if approved, will help those at or below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI) find housing they can afford.

“Looking at individuals that make about $18,000 a year or so, they don’t make enough to receive a subsidy or subsidized housing from the Housing Authority,” Robinson said. "But they also can’t afford market rate rent, so we're looking at individuals that can afford about $600 or so for an apartment.”

Duncan added that 30% AMI is around $500 for a one-bedroom versus the 60% AMI, which is $1,200 for a one-bedroom.

KC Tenant leaders and Robinson tell KSHB 41 News that forwarding this resolution to the City Council is a great first step in fixing the housing crisis.

“If we have individuals who are working, who are living, who are being productive in this city, then we have a stronger city, and so this is a great deep need that we need to prioritize,” Robinson said.