City Council seeks public input for new 5-year housing policy - KCTV5 News

City Council seeks public input for new 5-year housing policy

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Recently, the city has stepped in and helped turn around the Beacon Hill neighborhood, getting rid of blight and providing incentives to developers. (KCTV5) Recently, the city has stepped in and helped turn around the Beacon Hill neighborhood, getting rid of blight and providing incentives to developers. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

City Council members in Kansas City are looking for the public’s help and input to formulate their new five-year housing policy.

On Monday, at 6 p.m., they will ask residents of the southeast Kansas City to come to the southeast community center, located at 4201 E 63rd Street, to voice their ideas.

John Wood, Kansas City’s Director of Neighborhood Housing Services, says they want people’s input on what they think the cities role should be in promoting housing, having affordable housing, working with the homeless and other issues that affect housing.

After listening to the community, city officials will go through the information they’ve gathered, see what has been brought up most and prioritize that. Officials will then set goals that can be accomplished in the first year, and long-term goals, like potentially bringing in new developers and working on mixed-income housing.

“Low hanging fruit such as clean up is important,” Wood said. “For example, we heard the other night at our last meeting that trash, street needs to be repaved and we want a neighborhood that is aesthetically pleasing and its clean, that makes us what to live there.”

Wood says they will probably also hear about vacant properties.

Recently, the city has stepped in and helped turn around the Beacon Hill neighborhood, getting rid of blight and providing incentives to developers.

The city offered incentives to developers, improved public infrastructure to develop streets and water systems and made it affordable, using a five-year tax abatement. Then, officials offered to help people already living there rehab their home, and this worked. It improved the neighborhood and quality of life there.

“The more we hear from people the better, because, in particular, we are hearing repetitive solutions or repetitive problems so it sounds like this is a problem and we should do something about it,” Wood said.

Wood says, at Monday's meeting, he expects to hear a lot about the cost and value of housing.

“So the cities role is to fill the financial gap and how do we close that gap to make it attractive for developers and at the same time make it affordable for people that have lesser incomes to live there,” he said.

A second meeting will be held on May 23.

“I think the city has a basic responsibility of ensuring that all residents live in housing that meets code, that’s safe and clean and healthy,” Wood said.

The city hopes to present a new housing policy to residents in August or September.

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