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How a Kansas City nonprofit is tackling the racial homeownership gap through tiny homes

Civic Saint is counting on tiny homes such as seen in this "Stonehome Signature" prototype to be in big demand.
BNIM Architects
Civic Saint is counting on tiny homes such as seen in this "Stonehome Signature" prototype to be in big demand.

Owning a home today is more expensive than ever and disproportionately out of reach for people of color. Civic Saint in Kansas City wants to use tiny homes to help close the gap and protect the environment.

Data from the 2021 Census shows that Black people make up around a quarter of Kansas City’s population — but only around 7% of homeowners.

That trend reflects what's happening nationally. A National Association of Realtors report says the homeownership gap between Black and white people is the largest it’s been in a decade.

Godfrey Riddle wants to change that. His nonprofit Civic Saint is working on a plan to build tiny houses that are affordable to people on lower incomes, constructed with materials that prioritize the environment. The first prototype is expected to be shown at Kansas City Design Week, which begins today.

An economy home, the "Stonehome Mini," is expected to retail for $60,000 to $75,000," Godfrey told Up To Date. The flagship product, the "Stonehome Signature," is expected to be appraised at $130,000 to $135,000.

"Meaning that someone who's making at least $36,000 per year or $3,000 per month in their household should be able to buy one of these homes," he said.

  • Godfrey Riddle, founder and owner of Civic Saint
  • Robert Taylor, crew member with Civic Saint
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Gabby Martinez is Up To Date's UMKC student intern for the 2024 spring semester. She is graduating from the University of Missouri - Kansas City in May 2024 with a major in strategic and professional communication. She is a big fan of traveling, pickles, and the color pink. You can reach her at gabby.martinez@kcur.org.
As an Up To Date producer, I aim to create a space for Kansas Citians to come together for curious and inspired conversations about the region we call home. I want to help find answers to big questions, shine a light on local change makers and break down complex issues people need to know about. Email me at hallejackson@kcur.org.
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