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Governor Laura Kelly Announces Record Interest in Rural Housing Development

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly

Governor Laura Kelly has announced that months after she signed legislation to fund the expansion of rural housing development, a record number of rural cities and counties are planning to build more homes.

"I've said it time and again: We need to build more housing so that every Kansas family can afford to put a roof over their head – and so we can attract and retain the workers needed to continue our record-breaking economic success," Governor Laura Kelly said. "Thanks to the Kansas Housing Resources Center and the bipartisan legislation I signed earlier this year, we are poised to address that need and continue creating a better future for rural communities across the state."

Demand for Kansas' Moderate Income Housing (MIH) program has grown steadily in recent years, reflecting the findings of the state's 2021 comprehensive housing needs assessment. The study identified homes for moderate-income Kansans as a major need, particularly in rural areas.

The measures Governor Kelly signed this year provide more than $90 million in new funding to accelerate housing development in the state, including one-time workforce housing projects, $40 million in new funding for the state's popular MIH program and a $20 million investment in a new rural housing revolving loan program.

The MIH program received 48 applications for a total of $25,841,818 in requests during the current application cycle, representing a proposed 649 new homes for moderate-income Kansans. The volume represents a 74 percent increase over last year's 28 applications and a nearly 300 percent increase over last year's requested $8.7 million.

"Whether it's Hilmar Dairy in Dodge City, Great Plains Manufacturing in Salina or Russell Stover in Iola, major employers in our rural communities need homes for their workers to thrive and their businesses to expand," said Ryan Vincent, Executive Director at Kansas Housing Resources Corporation. "This historic expansion of KHRC's popular Moderate Income Housing Program has driven an exponential increase in applications that reflects the monumental need for workforce housing in our state. KHRC looks forward to investing these resources to yield enormous returns for our rural homes and jobs."

Several new housing programs were also launched because of the legislation:

  • The Kansas Housing Investor Tax Credit (KHITC), with an annual budget of $13 million, supports investors who make cash investments in qualified housing developments in counties with less than 75,000 residents.
  • The Rural Housing Revolving Loan Program received $20 million to provide loans or grants to rural communities for moderate- and low-income housing development or related infrastructure.
  • The Kansas Affordable Housing Tax Credit Act is a new state tax credit offered in addition to the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit to incentivize affordable housing development.
  • The Kansas Rural Home Loan Guarantee provides loan guarantees to help address the difference between the cost of construction and the appraised value of single-family homes in counties with populations of less than 10,000.

Of the current 48 pending MIH applications, 33 intend to apply for the new KHITC program later this month, and 25 have never received MIH funding in the past. A complete list of this round's applicants is available online.

The MIH and KHITC programs will accept applications during multiple cycles this year. The next application opens in November and will be due in January 2023.

(Information courtesy Office of the Governor.)