Kansas City officials to unveil affordable housing plan

Kansas City officials are expected to release the city’s first long-range housing plan Wednesday in an effort to expand ownership opportunities for low-income residents and create a greater mix of economic groups in the city.

The plan, commissioned by the Kansas City Council last year, comes amid rising concern about affordable housing in the city.

About half of renters and a quarter of homeowners in Kansas City qualify as “cost burdened,” which means they spend more than 30 percent of their income on a mortgage or rent.

Officials estimate the city needs an additional 7,000 units for families making less than $15,000 per year and 10,000 units for those making between $50,000 and $75,000 annually.

One potential plan would create a trust fund of up to $50 million to enable loans and grants for rehabilitating and preserving existing affordable housing while spurring construction of new units.

Another idea, currently at work in other cities, is to adopt inclusionary zoning policies. Such policies essentially incentivize developers to set aside a certain percentage of new housing as low-income in exchange for the relaxation of other zoning requirements.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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