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Land Bank Takes Cue From $1 Homes, Sells $100 Homes To Kansas City Public Employees

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City of Kansas City
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This house at 5821 East 29th Terrace was renovated as part of a previous Land Bank program that sold houses for a single dollar. Officials are hoping a new program aimed at public employees will have a similar effect.

Remember when Kansas City, Missouri, sold houses for $1 each?

City leaders recently celebrated the success of that program, touting major improvements to the urban core. The Land Bank of Kansas City is starting a new program to sell 25 houses to public employees for only $100.

"We wanted to reward the people who make our lives easier all day long — the people who clean our streets, teach our kids and fight our fires," says Ted Anderson, executive director of the Land Bank.

The price is a bargain, but the houses are in need of serious repairs. Anderson says the houses in this program are not as bad as the $1 houses, which the Land Bank sold in an effort to save some of the city's most "dangerous" vacant homes from demolition.

"Those houses were in such bad shape that it was hard for the 'do-it-yourselfers,' people who weren't hard core rehabbers, to finish those houses," Anderson says. "That's what we learned."

The 25 houses for public employees are not under threat of demolition, but Anderson says they need new roofs, windows, floors, electric and plumbing.

As with the dollar-home program, buyers will need to pass a background check and have at least $8,500 in cash or credit to show they have the means to make the necessary repairs. The Land Bank will give buyers up to four months to finish work on the exterior and another eight months to renovate the interior. 

Applications are open until May 28.

Andrea Tudhope is a reporter for KCUR 89.3 Email her at andreat@kcur.org, and follow her on Twitter @_tudhope.

Andrea Tudhope is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Kansas City, Missouri. She is currently coordinating producer for America Amplified, a national public media community engagement initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 
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