Archive for Friday, July 26, 2002

City calls for fund applicants

July 26, 2002


Lawrence city officials are putting out the call for proposed projects to be paid for from its Housing Trust Fund.

"They decided they wanted to go ahead and make some funds available and get moving with the trust fund," Margene Swarts, the city's community development manager, said of the Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board.

The fund was created last year with the money left over from construction of the city's new Indoor Aquatic Center. Board members started meeting in September with two mandates: Grow that pile of money, and use it to create affordable housing opportunities.

So far, the fund has grown by $66,000 in accrued interest, which is what will be spent during this round of projects. The board hasn't decided how to raise more cash, but talk has included development fees, state and federal funding, and private foundation grants as possible sources.

A weak economy, which has increased the need for affordable housing, has made it difficult to find funding sources to alleviate the problem.

"As you can well imagine, the downturn of the economy and the effects of Sept. 11 have stretched everywhere," Swarts said. "To get another funding source, money's going to have to come from somewhere else."

And getting applications for projects might help, she said. People and companies that apply for the money will have to describe the need they're meeting, she said.

"One or more" projects will be funded; applications are due Sept. 30. For more information, call 832-3100.

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