Housing | KCUR

Housing

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

After two hours of deliberations, public testimonies and a presentation of proposed home building guidelines, the Prairie Village City Council voted 11 to 2 to advance the guidelines.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Is housing really as affordable for Kansas Citians as we say it is?

A new study finds housing in Kansas City isn't as affordable for low-income residents as we would like. We discuss the study, the recommendations for improvement presented to the city council and what is to come.

Segment 2, beginning at 11:55: Goat Yoga. Need we say more?

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Certain affordable housing projects in Missouri have until Oct. 31 to take advantage in $140 million in tax credits. But nonprofits and developers are concerned the state board charged with approving the tax credits won’t act in time.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Missouri, has long prided itself as an affordable place to live. But a new study commissioned by the city paints a different picture.

The study, commissioned a year ago by the city council, shows that affordable housing options exist for people of high or moderate incomes. But for people who make less than $30,000 a year, options are scarce. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Proposed home building regulations in Prairie Village, Kansas, are one step closer to taking effect, after being approved unanimously by the Planning Commission at a public hearing Tuesday night. 

The new rules were proposed earlier this year in response to many residents' concerns that a growing number of old houses in the area have been torn down and replaced with much larger houses.

Big Stock

Kansas City’s rental inspection program officially went live on Tuesday, a month after voters approved its creation.

Under the new rules, all landlords must pay $20 to register for a permit. They will also be charged an annual fee of $20 per unit so the health department can hire inspectors to respond to tenant complaints. Additional fees would apply if inspectors have to return to the same property to address unresolved issues.

A one story house with a boarded up window on the left, the window on the right blocked on the interior with boxes and junk, and debris on the roof.
SamaraSteele / Creative Commons

Segment 1: Legal organization teams with community development financial institution to transform abandoned residences into affordable housing.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

 

Sam Shockley went to school with the black students who eventually desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. So he was more than familiar with the harshness of racism.

When he moved to Kansas City in the 1950s, he experienced a different brand of it.

“Here it was more covert,” Shockley says.

Rebekah Hange / KCUR 89.3

A new property tax to help seniors stay in their homes seemed like such a good idea in April that the entire Jackson County Legislature co-sponsored the ordinance to put it on the November ballot.

Now it is likely that legislators will repeal the ordinance at its Monday meeting, killing the program before it gets off the ground.

Scott Burnett, chairman of the Jackson County Legislature, says there was little chance voters would approve it.

“It polls so poorly,” he says, “that you couldn’t go to funders” for money to mount a campaign.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

There's a proposed rental inspection program on Tuesday's primary ballot in Kansas City, Missouri, something supporters say would hold landlords accountable but that opponents warn could have negative consequences down the line.

Segment 1: Besides being a fad, tiny houses can also help in the instance of a natural disaster.

Often the talk surrounding "tiny houses" is focused on cutting costs but their design can also help aid housing crises after a natural disaster.

Kurt Bauschardt / Flickr--Creative Commons

Segment 1: "Healthy homes" ballot initiative addresses rental property inspections. 

Kansas City, Missouri, voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on a "healthy homes" initiative this August 7. If the measure is approved, rental properties in town will be subject to health department inspections if community members complain about their condition. Today, we learned why supporters think the measure will hold landlords more accountable, while those against it think the initiative will drive landlords away from Kansas City properties.

Helix Architecture + Design, Inc.

The Kansas City Art Institute broke ground on new student housing Thursday across the street from the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. 

"The last time we did this was 1968 when we built that," said Art Institute president Tony Jones, pointing to the current residence hall. "To say that it's a little bit out of date ... would be an understatement." 

The old dorm will be repurposed for academic space, said Jones, and a "brand new living center" will be created to better fit the needs of contemporary students in art, design, craft, and technology.     

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

Wells Fargo is investing $5.7 million in the Kansas City area to provide down payment assistance to eligible residents.

Residents in Cass, Clay and Jackson county will be able to apply for the $15,000 down payment assistance if they meet certain income eligibility requirements.

The program is a partnership with Westside Housing Organization and is part of the NeighborhoodLIFT program. This was created in 2012 to help provide financial assistance to low-income homeowners.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: State Sen. Laura Kelly makes her case in the race for Kansas governor.

In Kansas' crowded field of candidates for governor, there is a lone woman running. Today, we met Laura Kelly, the Senate Minority Whip whose district stretches along Highway 24 from Wamego to Topeka. She discussed her multi-continental childhood, her passion for education and her plans to bring the state back from the financial brink.  

Burns and McDonnell

Copaken Brooks is proposing a 14-story apartment tower on the southwest corner of 18th and Walnut, a striking addition to the skyline that would replace a crumbling Crossroads parking lot with 132 residences.

The $40- to $50 million project would be the second residential tower developed by the firm in the Crossroads Arts District. The other is the 12-story ARTerra project going up at 2100 Wyandotte.

It’s also a half-block north of the firm’s Corrigan Station office development at 19th and Walnut.

Google Earth

New guidelines will make it harder to build big homes on small lots in Prairie Village as the Johnson County suburb tries to get ahead of the “teardown” trend that’s pitted newcomers against residents who like the charm of older houses.

The city is trying to find the balance between encouraging development and maintaining its classic look, Prairie Village Mayor Laura Wassmer told Up To Date’s Steve Kraske Wednesday. In the last five years, 126 older homes – mostly ranch and Cape Cod-style – have been torn down to make way for new construction.

One out of five Americans is a woman of color. So, why are their perspectives often overlooked, even in conversations about race and gender? KCUR's Michelle Tyrene Johnson hosts an unfiltered, wide-ranging discussion about life in Kansas City for women of color.

Guests:

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Another member of the Kansas City Council has entered the crowded race for mayor in 2019. 

Councilwoman Alissia Canady, who represents the city’s 5th district, announced her mayoral bid in front of family and religious leaders Tuesday morning at Ilus Davis Park, just north of Kansas City, Missouri, city hall.  

Canady said she looks up to Ilus Davis, who was Kansas City mayor from 1963 to 1971.

“Mayor Davis … used his position both as mayor and lawyer to uplift Kansas Citians with diverse backgrounds, so I’m not alone in this undertaking,” Canady said.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Developers who ask for tax incentives in Kansas City can claim an apartment that rents for $1,600 a month is affordable — and eligible for incentives.

An ordinance passed by the Kansas City Council on Thursday changes that.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

High poverty rates, aging infrastructure and vacant homes.

These are problems that commonly occur together and that discourage community revitilization.

The Marlborough Community Coalition in south Kansas City, five neighborhoods come together as one, is trying to do things differently.

Segment 1: The consequences of eviction.

For families, eviction can be a devastating experience. We take a look at eviction in Jackson County and throughout the Metro to find out how it is affecting local households.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City’s most vulnerable students often fall behind when their families move often. And when the kids don’t meet the state’s expectations on standardized tests, their school district gets dinged. That makes it hard for districts with a lot of student turnover to improve their standing.

City of Kansas City

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.

Barbara Shelly / KCUR 89.3

In the cold of a Kansas City winter, Fran Marion and her two teenage children wrapped themselves in coats and blankets in their frigid rental home. Marion had repeatedly asked her landlord to fix their broken furnace. When he didn’t respond, Marion deployed the only option she could think of.

She withheld her rent check.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City, Missouri, city leaders on Thursday celebrated what they called major improvements to the urban core: $8 million spent over two years on a program to sell abandoned or dangerous houses for $1 each.

The program, designed to not just clean up neighborhoods but to cut down on crime, showcased one of its first graduates.

Laurie Schwab bought a home on East 29th Terrace in 2016 during the Kansas City, Missouri, Land Bank's $1 sale and has poured $21,000 into it so she can operate it as a transitional living stop for homeless people.

Segment 1: Kansas City ranks as one of the top cities for women working in tech. 

For the fourth year in a row, Kansas City has been listed as the second best city for women working in the tech industry according to the website Smart Asset. Today, we find out how our city earned that title as well as learn how we can continue to improve. 

Pixabay - CC

The Kansas City Council has paved the way for a third new luxury apartment building downtown as well as more moderately priced units. But downtown shoppers, drinkers and diners will be paying an extra penny on the dollar.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

Leaders in City Hall and Kansas City Public Schools are just beginning to piece together a connection between Kansas City’s high numbers of evictions and the academic performance of children affected by forced moves.

The data is preliminary, but Michael Reynolds, chief research and accountability officer for the school district, says a relationship is coming into focus.

“Without a question, students who get evicted have worse academic outcomes, according to the state and according to standard testing, than students who don’t,” Reynolds says.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Landlords in Jackson County are filing hundreds of eviction requests each month, resulting in thousands of eviction orders every year. And those recorded evictions – 175,000 court filings over 17 years, according to a study by a housing policy researcher – are only a fraction of the landlord-tenant disputes that force low-income Kansas Citians out of their homes.

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