Residents with homes going to seed or no home at all could find secure shelter, if two city requests for $600,000 in state housing funds are successful.
Lawrence city commissioners will consider approving the applications at their Tuesday meeting, which will begin at 6:35 p.m. in the city commission meeting room at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts.
One application asks for $300,000 in Kansas HOME Investment Partnership Program funds to allow the city to fix up more than a dozen homes on the skids.
"(The funds) would be used to bring some homes up to current code," said Rod Bremby, assistant city manager. "Maybe the wiring or plumbing is not up to code. Maybe there is . . . an old stove there, those types of things."
With the $300,000, the city would hire a contractor to doctor up 15 homes at an average cost of $19,000 each. Money spent on the work would be considered a loan to the homeowner, who would repay the city.
BREMBY said the city envisions using the funds to mend homes eyed by financially strapped residents participating in a loan program being designed by local lenders.
Still in the design phase, the program would help low- and moderate-income residents pay for a down payment and loan closing costs. Fixing up the homes would make the loan more attractive to lenders, Bremby said.
The other application asks for $300,000 from the state's department of commerce and housing to help pay the rents of very low-income families.
The money translates into 18 "certificates" good for breaks on rent for two years, said Charlette Knoche, director of the Lawrence Housing Authority's Section 8 program.
The certificates would be earmarked for large families needing three bedroom apartments or houses. To qualify under very low-income guidelines, a family of four could must make less than $18,250 a year, Knoche said.
ELIGIBLE families given a certificate must find a landlord interested in participating in the program.
The prospective tenants agree to pay about 30 percent of their income minus utility cost for rent. The housing authority pays the rest through the funds awarded with the certificates.
Bremby and Knoche said they didn't know the city's chances for receiving the funds, because both programs are in their first year.
"This is the first time that the state has done this," Knoche said. "We have no idea how this will turn out."
HERE'S TUESDAY'S agenda:
Commissioners will consider proclaiming Sept. 27 "CROP Walk Day."
On the consent agenda, commissioners will consider:
Minutes of previous commission meeting and various city organization meetings.
Payment of city expenses.
Retail liquor licenses for Jensen Retail Liquor, 620 W. Ninth, and Edmondson-Berger Retail Liquor, 600 Lawrence Ave.
A $20,975 contract with Highway Trailer Sales, a Kansas City, Mo., firm, for a trailer for the public works department.
A recommendation from the Traffic Safety Commission to install a yield sign for southbound traffic on Heatherwood Drive at the Clinton Parkway frontage road and to remove a temporary stop sign for eastbound traffic on the frontage road.
Authorizing the purchase of Lot 113 on New York Street, 1041 N.Y., from Helen Bailey for $3,500 as a potential site for new housing for city residents.
On the regular agenda, commissioners will:
Receiving a request from the Garage Door Group Inc., 3800 Greenway Circle, for a 50 percent tax abatement on $3.8 million in new equipment. Consider referring the request to the city's Administrative Review Committee.
Conduct a public hearing at 7 p.m. or thereafter on a request from Gary Olsen, 2507 Princeton, for the city to give up its right to a utility and drainage easement in Lot 10, Block 1, Country Club West Subdivision.
Consider a request from Allen Construction Inc. for the city to give up its right to a sanitary sewer easement in H&H Addition No. 2, generally between Monterey Way and Christie Court.
Consider denying a request to remove parking on the north side of 29th Terrace from the west curbline of Alabama Street west 225 feet.
Consider approving an application to the state for $300,000 in Kansas HOME Investment Partnership Program funds for home rehabilitation.
Consider authorizing the mayor to sign an application to the state for $300,000 for 18 rental-assistance certificates for tenant-based assistance.
Consider adopting on first reading a charter ordinance allowing the city to use 10 percent of the gas tax funds alotted to the city by the state for construction and maintenance of bike trails and foot paths.
Conduct a public hearing to consider three nominees from the Historic Resource Commission for listings on the Lawrence Register of Historic Places: the Dillard house at 520 La., the Griffith house at 511 Ohio, and J.B. Shane-Juno Bell, Shane Thompson Photo Studios at 615 Mass. Consider approving the nominations.
Consider appointing one voting delegate and two alternates for the National League of Cities Annual Business Meeting, which will take place Dec. 1 in New Orleans.