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Archive for Monday, August 7, 2006

Nonprofit group to build more affordable homes

Tenants to Homeowners will use land trust to keep prices low on single-family units

August 7, 2006

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Lawrence's Tenants to Homeowners organization plans to soon begin work on its largest affordable housing project yet.

The nonprofit group will begin work this fall on a new single-family neighborhood near Bullene Avenue and La Salle Street in East Lawrence that will include 10 homes that are expected to sell for between $90,000 and $110,000.

"I think this is going to be a picture-perfect example of community-based affordable housing," said Rebecca Buford, executive director of Tenants to Homeowners. "That's really the best scenario for us because we can't rely on federal funding to do all of this."

Buford is touting the partnership element of the project because the city of Lawrence donated property for two of the 10 lots, and representatives from three area neighborhoods - East Lawrence, Brook Creek and the Woods on 19th Street - banded together to support the project.

The city had purchased some of the property in the area in the mid-1990s after the lots continually flooded and made the homes on the property largely unlivable. But recent stormwater drainage improvements have caused the property to be removed from the floodplain.

Neighbors in the area supported the project, even though a previous neighborhood plan called for the property, which is adjacent to the proposed Burroughs Creek Rail Trail, to serve as a small park area.

"I think we do like the project on a lot of different levels," said Matt Tomc, president of the Woods on 19th Street homeowners association. "The neighbors always like to see more single-family, owner-occupied homes - especially in Lawrence where you do have a lot of rentals."

Buford said the project represented a unique opportunity for neighbors to know what type of housing would be on the site for years to come. Tenants to Homeowners is placing conditions on the property that will ensure that it is never used for rental property.

Those conditions are part of a land trust program that Tenants to Homeowners is placing the property under. The land trust program allows people to buy new homes at reduced rates - at $100,000, the proposed homes are more than $50,000 cheaper than almost any other new home built in the city.

The land trust generates the savings by technically selling only the structures on the property, but not the land itself. The land is offered to buyers through a 99-year ground lease for which they pay $25 a month, giving them the ability to use the land like any typical landowner. By eliminating the cost of the ground, buyers can save tens of thousands of dollars.

In return for the price break, buyers - who must meet certain income guidelines - must agree to certain conditions, including that they will limit the resale price of the home, if they ever choose to move. Currently, the trust only will allow a home to be sold for its original purchase price plus 25 percent of how much the home's fair market value has grown.

For example, if a home purchased five years ago for $100,000 now had a fair market value of $150,000, the home could be sold for only $112,500. It also only could be sold to a buyer who agrees to the same conditions. The goal of the program is to keep the homes permanently affordable, Buford said.

The largest project that Tenants to Homeowners had previously undertaken was a six-house neighborhood near Third and Alabama streets.

In the new development - which has received approval from the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission but still must receive final approval from the City Commission - Buford hopes to have the first homes available for purchase by next summer. She hopes to have entire neighborhood built by summer 2008.

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

Another factor about these homes is that Tenants to Homeowners injects green thinking construction. It's all about energy efficiency which low income home buyers need to really keep the home affordable.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 8 years, 4 months ago

"yes and more than half the population will still never afford such an option because the cost of living far exceeds the minimum wage here and what the lack in oppression there they make up for in taxation."

The solution is simple: Move someplace more affordable. High property costs and taxes are the reason I don't live in Greenwich, Connecticut. It's nice there, but I accept the fact that I can't afford to live there. So....here I am in Lawrence.

Sigmund 8 years, 4 months ago

An interesting project to be sure, but I wonder how the "fair market value" will be accurately determined without allowing actual sales in the free market. In other words if:

sales price = ((fair market value - original price) x 25%) + original price

but the fair market value is never actually found. In a "normal" house sale sales price is the fair market value.

I don't know maybe it will work. I think I would be happier if the sale of the land, instead of the 99 year trust. That way a true fair market price would be the sales price. just like every other house in Lawrence. Then a percentage (50%, for instance) of any gain from a sale in the market could be given back to Tenants to Home Owners for future projects.

rwales 8 years, 4 months ago

At ten dallors an hour a person will take home less than 1200 dallors a month. The payment on these home will be somewhere around 800$ add in utilites and I still don't see how it can be affordable. It is cheeper and is a good start but most people in Lawrence will not be able to afford them unless there are other sources of help.

Kathleen Christian 8 years, 4 months ago

DITTO enforcer - you took the words right out of my month. Well put and soooooo accurate. Even though I love this town in many ways. It is difficult to survive here.

Godot 8 years, 4 months ago

How will the property taxes be calculated? Since the new owners won't own the land, and the land is owned by a non-profit, does that mean no property taxes will be assessed on the land? Will the owners be assessed just for the building? If so, then the rest of us will be subsidizing the taxes that they don't pay on the land.

Talk about "growth that does not pay for itself!"

You know, if none of us had to pay property taxes on our land, maybe housing would be affordable everywhere in Lawrence.

Kathleen Christian 8 years, 4 months ago

Even though you buy a house, the ground is not yours though you are paying for it and it is deeded to you. How can it be yours if you can only plant certain trees, shrubs and flowers? I don't know about in Kansas but in Maryland you are limited to what you can plant in your own yard. But these homes could serve as starter homes for couples who want to move onto more expensive homes. I could never afford these even if they are claimed to be affordable. I earn a Lawrence salary and even though I have a good job it is not enough to afford to buy a house. I am just scimming the surface of survival. The harder Iwork the higher prices become. It's exhausting.

feeble 8 years, 4 months ago

Most individuals renting their land from a land trust sign a "Ground lease." These leases are rather long (90+ pages in some cases) but often afford the leasee significant rights and assurances to the property, sometimes with an option to buy the property at a later time.

In many cases, the language of the ground lease is such that a tenant cannot be forced off the land against their will (provided they are in good faith, that is, have not violated the lease by not paying rent or my developing the land beyond what the lease allows.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 4 months ago

The county will assess each of the properties on the same formulation they use anywhere else in the county. Property taxes will be based on that assessment-- no different from any other house.

Whether or not the land trust that owns the ground is exempt from property tax, I couldn't say. They certainly aren't exempt from all taxation. But if it's a real advantage for developers to put their land in a non-profit trust, I'm sure they'll be quick to pick up on it.

Godot 8 years, 4 months ago

If what you say is true, Bozo, then this is a move to pull the rug out from under us poor suckers who already own property that is not in a trust, and who will be picking up the tab for the trusts.

Godot 8 years, 4 months ago

Enforcer wrote: "http://www.independenceinc.org/newhome.h...

http://www.hud.gov/local/ks/homeownershi...

haveing read the above, just who will get into theses units? The factory worker?, the waitress?, the janitor? who?"

Wow. I see what you mean. Minimum income and minimum savings.

With income that low, how can the homeowners afford to maintain the property?

cutny 8 years, 4 months ago

Why do people think that if they take a job that earns minimum wage they will ever be able to survive? Sure, the town is expensive because of its location and the perceived "ammenities" it offers, but by and large, people who have made minimum have not been afforded the luxury of owning their own home, and not just in Lawrence. If you want to own a home, get a better job or the education that will allow you to get a better job. Otherwise, stop acting like it's some big surprise that you can't own a home on such a low-wage scale.

alm77 8 years, 4 months ago

Does the program direct people to banks that are willing to do a lease hold property loan? When I was in mortgage banking, there weren't many programs for this.

I think limiting your profit to 25% of the value kind of defeats the purpose of being a homeowner in the first place. In the two years we've owned our home, our value has gone up about $6,000. That would limit us to a profit of only $1,500 if we sold it today. The idea behind being a homeowner and not a tenant is to have an investment, isn't it??

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 4 months ago

"If what you say is true, Bozo, then this is a move to pull the rug out from under us poor suckers who already own property that is not in a trust, and who will be picking up the tab for the trusts."

Of course, I was merely speculationg idly upon your idle speculation. We really don't know one way or the other, do we?

Confrontation 8 years, 4 months ago

OTTR: Yes, I bet it will become the 'projects'. We all know that low-income folks are all criminals who will only neglect their properties and sale drugs from their basements. Are you serious?! You aren't off to the right, you are beyond the right.

feeble 8 years, 4 months ago

"I think limiting your profit to 25% of the value kind of defeats the purpose of being a homeowner in the first place. In the two years we've owned our home, our value has gone up about $6,000. That would limit us to a profit of only $1,500 if we sold it today. The idea behind being a homeowner and not a tenant is to have an investment, isn't it??"

Different line of thinking. Most Ground leases and land trusts are set up so that the land trust can be passed to a tenant's heirs. The idea of selling the land at some future point doesn't enter into the equation, so thinking about it in terms of a commercial venture isn't quite right.

These things are becoming quite the thing in larger metropolis where "downtown" neighborhoods are undergoing gentrification.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

CUTNY.......Don't judge what you dom't know. I barley call it whinning when you have to decide between the food for your kids or the electric bill. My husband works for Sunflower Broadband, and he barley makes enough to survive. He is trying very hard to aquire a linemans position. We have three children, and I work weekends, and also pet sit when it comes along. If I was to go to school or get a job I would have to pay a baby sitter.....Not that I would trust anyone, nor can we afford it. We live pay check to pay check. My husband was injured (almost cut his leg off) a few years back, we owned our home...we lost it because workmens comp was 200.00 a week. Now our credit sucks, and we live on the bare min, so there is no money to save. What do you suppose we should do???? The people who work back breaking jobs, because they made the mistake of not going to college, have to pay for that choice (made as a child) for the rest of their life. We love our children just as nuch as you do. Don't act like you understand what poor people go through!! I've had to sacrafice several meals so my husband and kids could eat, Our car is falling apart, but when your poor...they screw you by making you pay a higher interest rate, DUH...POOR PEOPLE! So let me know what you think we should do....other wise keep your stupid comments to your self!

Godot 8 years, 4 months ago

"I think limiting your profit to 25% of the value kind of defeats the purpose of being a homeowner in the first place. In the two years we've owned our home, our value has gone up about $6,000. That would limit us to a profit of only $1,500 if we sold it today. The idea behind being a homeowner and not a tenant is to have an investment, isn't it??"

Not only that, the homeowners have the expense and responsibility of maintaining the property and paying for the insurance, and at least some level of property tax. People who qualify for this program won't even benefit from the mortgage interest write-off, because their incomes are so low, they won't be paying federal income tax, anyway.

I guess the value is they will get some of their "rent" back. However, if they live there only a few years, their equity will be minimal; certainly not enough to offset the extra expenses and headache.

Looks to me like it is just another housing program that appears to give people a hand up, but that actually holds them down.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

OTTR....Sure, all poor people are stupid! We very active in our church, I home school my children, my son plays soccer, my daughter takes tumbling through the recreation dept. I grew up in a christian home, with christian values, but I forgot I'm poor I don't deserve a chance at a good life with my kids.

alm77 8 years, 4 months ago

feeble, then it's a fine idea, but most people live in their home for an average of 10 years. Not to mention, these are starter homes, you will need to upgrade later. It makes no sense to expect people to keep these homes for life or to limit their availabilty to potential equity. These are people who would benefit from the sound investment of a starter home.

I'm all for lowering the housing costs here. Lawrence's market is ridiculous, but I'm just not sure this will do it. Until we have more homes available, the prices will not go down. It's all about supply and demand. I think the city needs to zone some residential areas as single family only or owner occupied only. Keeping landlords out of the single housing market would improve pricing significantly.

feeble 8 years, 4 months ago

more info, from a Seattle-based land trust: http://www.homesteadclt.org/CLTFAQ.htm

To be honest, the idea may be inappropriate to a municipality like Lawrence, whereas in places like Seattle, SanFran, etc, where the market is absolutely insane, it might be far more practical.

hockmano 8 years, 4 months ago

Affordable? For whom? The average joe making the average wage in Lawrence still could not afford one of these homes. I have come to accept that I could never afford a home in Lawrence.

I prefer the term low income. The word "poor" brings visions of dirty, snot nose children, and a bunch of vehicles sitting atop cement blocks. I am low income but am a very intelligent person who is working on a college degree. I have raised intelligent, hard working, self sufficient children. Please do not stereotype all people who don't have money streaming from their pockets. You may not believe this but some of the happiest times in my life have been when I didn't have a cent to my name.

Yes, the best times in life truly are free.

I like Lawrence but when I am through with school I will probably move where life is a little simpler and alot cheaper.

egypt 8 years, 4 months ago

If you want affordable houseing move out of Lawrence. You can pay 100,000 dollars for a small house in lawrence, or 100,000 dollars for a rather large house in Topeka or on the outskirts.

-eg

cutny 8 years, 4 months ago

Mommy3. I didn't make one judgemental call about the situation that low-income people find themselves in, as I'm right there next to you. You say you're paying for the mistake of not going to college, and I guess I can only agree with you. You can't work or go to school because then you would have to pay a babysitter whom you do not trust. So, I guess you can't work or go to school. Those were my suggestions (read: what I think you should "do"). Since you're not able/interested in doing either of those things, I suggest you lie in the bed you and your husband made for your three children. I make sacrifices on a daily basis, as do you, as do most people on this board. And thanks for the offer, but I think I'll share my stupid comments with everyone that has the misfortune of reading them.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

Our first house was in McLouth, I was raised in McLouth. We purcased the home for $82,000.00, when the bank took it and sold it for $120,000.00. We did all the work to that house, the bank profits. NO ONE needs to comment on my children. No one understands the situation behind them. Every time you are faced with situations that appears gloomy, you tend to tell your self it will be better. My last two children were born when my husband was a carpenters apprentice, then a cable contractor making $1200.00 a week, so what do you do when your pregnant, your husband cuts his leg, and then the bottom falls out from under the cable company????? So, no one knows. I's not like we were bored and said lets have a baby!!! Cuty, I did not one time say I had no interest in going to school....but how? I have a friend who's husband left her with three kids. She works two jobs, and goes to school at night. Her kids were taken from her, because she left the two youngest in the care of here 13 year old. She couldn't afford a babysitter. And like the rest of you, she didn't want to place them in low income childcare, because of the fear of what types of children would be there. I am sure allot of you have advice on what we did wrong, the point is we are a loving family, who is trying hard to stay afloat. We have hopes and dreams, it's just a matter on how to get there. You don't realize the rough road we're on. I am leaving to see my Grandpa in the hopsital in MO, so I wont be able to veiw what macon 47 decides to say, sorry.....I'll be gone awhile.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 4 months ago

I love the intent, and Tenants to Homeowners in a good group, but only get 25% of the profit means you can't really EVER move up/out to a better/bigger place. So why would you keep the house "up" like a normal place?

You might be better off with one of those "interest only" loans, if your house value will go up 5% a year, which is never a sure thing.

Tanya Spacek 8 years, 4 months ago

sorry to burst your bubble, OTTR...my husband and I will be paying all the property taxes on our land trust property, in fact we got the bill yesterday. you're not subsidizing anything for us, so hush the eff up and quit trying to make people feel bad for using this program.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

Thought I'd check your comments before I left. I hope you all learn a thing or two about jumping to conclusions. First of all, I live in Tonganoxie, not Lawrence. Second, we had our house on the market for 8 months prior to the finalized forclosure. We had an offer, but the bank said no, they could get more. The offer would have more than paid off our loan. I don't blame the bank, We couldn't pay, so they had the right to take the house. I lost my Dad in December 2004 to cancer (50 years old), in Febuary 2005 we lost the house, and in March 2005 we had my precious baby boy. Then shorlty after that my mom, couldn't handle life without Dad and is currenlty in the mental hospital. So don't act as though I'm living in a dream world. You don't know me. I don't agree with what my friend did either, but the fact is she was trying to deal with a situation she had no clue about. I give her and every other single mother/father out there my praise because they are the strongest people on earth. I don't ask anyone to feel sorry for me OTTR, I just hope a little compassion might filrter through from your high and mighty heads to those of us who are trying just live day to day. Enforcer, before you act as though I don't know what I'm talking about you should get your facts straight. Next time you need an ego boost, look somewhere else.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

enforcer i sugest that you drop the comments about my children you dont know them and this is about me not them so don't begin to tell me how to raise my children I'm SURE that you have screwed up enough kids with your inconsiderate additude and snod remarks with no care or compasion towards human beings that have done nothing wrong in ths world but love and live. So i will not be repling to any of your comments, it's not for me to judge you or try to make you feel as crapy as you should but it is GOD who will have your final say as the story of your life is told . GOOD LUCK with that day

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

Enforcer..So I guess "the rest of you" means that all the other parents who give a crap about ther kids pushed themselfs down to huh there smart guy, I didnt know that I was talking just about my kids when it came to child care from some other person making the low wage who in your eyes is a "dirty snot nose" and wouldnt care to pay full attention to the children. Like I said leave my kids out of your retarded comments since you cant understand what was tiped in the first place!

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

I don't want to place my children in low income childcare, for the simple fact that not all parents give a crap about their kids. She didn't because in her area "Leavenworth" the low income child care is full of people earning min. wage, who really don't care to much about the important roll the are intrusted with everyday. Also, alot of the parents that put their kids into these places are the onse selling drugs on the corner, and living on welfare. I'm not that person. I am trying hard to raise my kids in a christian home, and to learn the value of hard work and the dollar. I love my children, and want the best for them. Not always is that material. When I was growing up, I cant remember what kind of shoes I had, Nike or wal-mart. But I do remeber my Mom and Dad trying there hardest to give us what we needed, we were very happy kids, and so are mine. My husband wrote the last two comments, so I'm too clear on what you two said to each other, but I do know that I tip my hat to you for doing your best with your kids. Only God, and you know how they will turn out. But I deserve the same gesture. I love my kids, and am giving my all in everything I do for them.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

You are all saying my point. I myself have worked in daycare centers, and I know for a fact that in the real world not all of them are "good." I started to this whole thing to defend the poor people, when someone made the comment that "This will be the getto of Lawrence." Wow, I was hoping you would all stop jumping to conclusions! I am far from being a snob. There was a daycare here in Tonganoxie, that took low income which is a great thing. The daycare was shut down by the state for neglecting the children, and for poor conditions. My husband goes into people's houses on a daily bases, he see people smoking pot next to their babies, cock roaches every where, pet feces everywhere. I am not saying those people are there in the daycare system, but how can you say they are not? They have to work too, I cant walk into a daycare and ask for my kids to be placed only with the kids who parents give them love and effection, the ones who teach them not to cuss, or hit. I have no say in what happens once I leave. That includes rich or poor kids. My kids are no better that anyone elses, but I want to raise them a to be loving, caring, and hopefully with high self esteems. How can they get that with someone just working for a pay check? Again, I'm not saying all daycare workers, but how do you know for sure those people don't exsist? How can you assure me they aren't there? Don't all parents have high hopes for their kids???? NO. Check out the foster homes. For your information swbsow, I'm not looking for a job (I covered all that), why dont you read the whole story instead of butting in at the end. My spelling does suck, but then again I'm not checking it either, I'm currently feeding my baby and typing. Why don't you people scroll up to the top of the page and see why this whole conversation started. Then you can tell me I'm being snobby! I have been defending the poor people. I stated, "She didn't want to put them in low income daycare." Not saying ALL daycare is bad, just the one available to her in LEAVENWORTH. Have you been there? No I doubt it, so stop jumping to conclusions. You all sound so off the path its unreal.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

OTTR...I'm not crying, I'm proud of my husband. I am proud of the blessing we have. I started this whole thing because the beginning posters acted as though the group building these homes, (to help the low income families) were going to ruin Lawrence. I feel they need a chance. Yes, we all do the best we can. Although, your first comment was that "They need to stop whinning, and do something about it." No one is whinning! They just need a helping hand.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

OTTR....I read you last comment. Do you have short term memory loss? We covered all that, and you were way off!

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

I never wanted anyone to feel sorry, I said for you to have compassion for people that are trying to live day to day. As for feeding my baby while typing, he is fine. I'm not getting worked up, you make me laugh at your ignorance more than anything.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

The whole point of telling my story was to show those of you judging people in low income families, that everyone has a different situation. Everyone made choices in life that might have landed them where they are now, but it's a pretty rough ride for everyone to get out of it. We are trying just like all of the families who take those properties. We are all trying to live, and hopefully live a little better. Show a little compassion.

Jeremi Lewis 8 years, 4 months ago

After reading through all of this, I think it's important for people to be able to discuss their opinions, even if they're cold and mean.I also think that your time would be better spent doing some volunteer work and getting to know some of the people that organizations like TTH help with their programs. I hope that all of these people that have spent so much of their time at the keyboard would remember how good it makes someone feel to achieve something like homeownership. It is expensive to live in Lawrence but that doesn't mean that certain types of people shouldn't live here. I feel it just means that those who choose to, should have options. With Tenants to Homeowners' programs like the LCLT(Lawrence Community Land Trust), honest people who deserve to use these programs can have the opportunity to make a start for themselves. I think that will only lead to improvement in their lives and that will only improve the quality of our community. Some people don't realize how much work the buyers must do in order to be eligible for these programs. It only shows their determination to better their lives and usually the life of their children. It's wrong to say that the buyers of these homes, which are not "cheap" to build, are going to turn neighborhoods into ghettos. I have met most of them, having worked for TTH, and they have all been responsible, honest, hardworking people who show nothing but appreciation for the opportunity they have had. Be nice.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

Ok, No kidding??? There is more than one daycare in Leavenworth?? Have you ever run into the situation, where one is full, or that one is cheaper, or that one is closer. I said "The one that was AVAILABLE to her." Again, I know plenty of the daycare system, AGAIN I worked there. I made $5.75 an hour. I was 18, I worked with many other people who had that job plus another, they however did not enjoy what they did. I recently walked into one daycare to check it out. All the kids were playing, crying, fighting while the worker was reading a novel in the corner. When she saw me she put the book down, and started interacting with the kids. I placed my son in a pre-school in Basehor. The women who worked there had a sincere passion for what they did. They were there to minister to the kids, and show Gods love. I find that most people can't find that kind of service in most daycares. People do take those jobs, because it's hard to find anything else. Do you think people like working at McDonalds? My husband hates his job, the pay sucks, can he just pick up and wait for a better one to come along? NO, you take what you can. Not all daycare workers really like what they do. SWBSOW, wow, your a real super mom, see my sarcasm, fits right in there with yours. Pretty stupid, HUH? I do not have a holier than thou attitude. I'm as down to earth as a woman can be. I however, have a pretty high standard for my kids. Maybe some more of you should be that way. I know very well that taking care of kids is very hard work, but it is something that should be taken seariously. Not just something you can hope to just occupy them and watch the clock go by until quitting time. Maybe those of you who have your children in daycares should wake up a little. I make a thousand sacrafices by staying at home with the kids. I love what I do. It's my life, it's also my job. SWBSOW, Maybe in your dream world all the daycares run smoothly, but the recent molestation's of children around the country should tell you other wise. Wake up people. Again, go to the top of this page, and you will see where you are all giving me a hard time over something you have no idea about. Get your facts straight!

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

Ok, I see you are all going no where. Good luck, enforcer I wish you the best, I hope you will learn a few more things on your next posting, before chewing someone out for no reason. Did you get your ego boost?? I'm going to go drink some coffee and go to bed, go luck everyone, and good night!

kg52 8 years, 4 months ago

Wow! I am new here but this gets a little vicious. It started out being very interesting though - imagine affordble housing in Lawrence. I was born and raised on the north side of town, left and came back and lived there for six years - left again and now live in Topeka. Housing should be affordable for everyone who is willing to work for it but it is a challenge. My heart goes out to all of you and your problems - been there, did that and believe it or not you can recover. Have been through unemployment, inflation, raising children and all that goes with it and with hard work, some luck here and there and preserverence it can be done. Now my husband and I are looking towards retirement - we own our home - have lived in same house for 20 years - right now working hard to get it paid off (early) before my husband retires in two years. We live in a very desireable neighborhood of much fancier homes than ours but it is a roof over our head with most of the modern amenities and we don't plan to go anywhere anytime soon. All the satistics say we can afford a much more expensive home but we are content here and when it is paid off I will be dancing in the streets. I have always worked - even when raising my children - it wasn't easy but it was necessary and yes, they were in day care and they have grown up to be wonderful self sufficient adults. No rocket scientists but they are great human beings and know how to take care of themselves, what more can you ask? Since I am a Lawrencian by birth I certainly applaud any efforts made to make housing affordable because let me tell you the present Lawrence is not the town I grew up in - a nice place to visit but I think I will stay in Topeka for the foreseeable future. Now that I have found this site I will keep tabs on my hometown crowd but could I offer a suggestion, how about instead of being hateful let's try to be helpful. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but wouldn't it be better if the opinions were more constructive and less mean.

Godot 8 years, 4 months ago

If you qualify for this program, you have no business owning a home. And if you buy into it, and then sell, you will be no better off than if you had rented . In fact, you could be in worse straits if you lose your job, or have some other difficulty than if you rented. This is not a path to home ownership; it is a path to paying the Land Trust to maintain property that some other entity, not you, controls, an entity that restricts the gain that you can realize on your property to 25% of what the market would bear.

You will never get back the money, and effort, you invest, unless you live in the home for 30 or more years and pass the home on to your children. Then they are the ones who benefit, not you.

You would be better off renting. At least, then, you would not be responsible for upkeep and taxes. And you would only be locked in for one year at a time, as opposed to being locked into a 30 year mortgage.

kg52 8 years, 4 months ago

I do wish you all the best. I sincerly hope there is a way for this program to work and others similar to it - I agree that a $100,000.00 house for a person making $8 or $9 an hour would be a struggle, even if both husband and wife work. Add in day care, taxes, insurance it seems almost impossible. I wish there was a better solution but until then what worked for me for the past 30+ years was living on what we made, driving older vehicles, living in an older house (that has more than doubled in value in the past 20 years) and not spending more than we had to spend. I have kept a notebook always (still do - don't have to now but still do) that has at least six months of projected expenses that lets me know what is coming and gives me time for a solution before the time comes. It works! Yes, unexpected things come up but you deal with those and then write them into your expense plan for the future. It also helps you decide what you can afford and what you can't. By the way, a suggestion - I have worked at home on my computer for the past 7 years - make a pretty good living (not rich but not bad) and put my typing to good use. It might be something for some of you to think about. It would also solve the problem of day care.

Tanya Spacek 8 years, 4 months ago

um, hello? my husband and I qualified for the program, bought a house for $108,000 loan, and are paying $875 a month. the house is very well built, and our utility bills have been cut in half. we actually are paying less than when we were renting a three bedroom apartment. the yard is ours to plant a garden in, the walls are ours to decorate however we want, and we don't share walls with anyone. it's awesome. we both work, and average about $9 an hour each, and we can afford a house, thanks to this program. we're not in it for investment purposes, we just want to live here, and put our money into something of value, not just hand it over to a landlord.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

SWBSOW, I am not pulling things out of my life. You are pulling this from my posting and mixing it all around to sound bad. I am not against daycare. I looked into daycare after my first son was born, I went back to work for 6 weeks, and saw that things were not working out. Also, your comment on if the daycare is religious then it is ok by me, are all the other run by satan? Did I say that? Let me go back and see.......No I didn't. The daycare that is the best religion or not, is one with sincere people. You can't tell me that all daycare workers love their jobs. Been there done that. The fact is, no one loves your child as much as you do. So get off my case about the daycare. In a recent Parent Mag. They said that most shaken baby syndrom cases are done by babysitters. I was telling one thing and you pulled a word out and run with it. Also, if you could actually read, you would see that I said my husband MADE $1200.00 a wekk, not makes...MADE. Thats when our mess started, get your facts straight. KG 52, thank you for making sense of all this. I am totally for the housing that they are building for the people in Lawrence. We work our tails off every day, sometimes you just need a helping hand. My whole point of telling my story was not to get into the daycare stuff, or the stay at home mom war, it was to show that just because someone is said to be "poor" doesn't mean there our bringing the "Ghetto" with them. At my current education level, and my location, it would not be feesable for me to work and place my kids in day care. I work weekends for $7.50 hr, put that into a 40 week and it still would not be enough to cover my gas and daycare. I have 3 children all under 5. I've worked nights, try working until 3:00am in the morning and your kids getting you up at 6:00am, it doesn't make for a happy, creative mom for the rest of the day. LUCKYNUN, I am very happy for you and your family. Paying a landlord makes no sense at all. We pay rent now, and it sucks. It is a better feeling knowing that your coming home to YOUR home. When you pay rent you know that it is not perm. So how can you feel at home? Good luck to you and every body else who is getting on their feet.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 4 months ago

single parents should try habitat for humanity may take awhile to qualify but is cheaper that than home owners to tenants but both are good options for the low income family.

kelly kouns 8 years, 4 months ago

I worked fulltime while raising my children. I didn't make much money so had to find cheap daycare. I thank God my kids survived! Fortunately, I went to school and am on the other side of the poverty line now. The bottom line is we need to love one another. We need to take care of the less fortunate in our country. According to the bible, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rinch man to enter the kingdom of God. Something to think about the next time you deposit your paycheck!

kelly kouns 8 years, 4 months ago

I didn't say I felt my children were not safe @ daycare. I said thank God they survived. I thank God they survived going to school everyday, that they survived learning how to walk, and run and drive, etc, etc. As for assistance, there weren't many options available when my kids were young. I checked out the "babysitters" I had. (That's what they used to call them.) For the most part I was very fortunate to find good people to care for my kids. But I still worried about them.

Children are precious, precious beings living in a very scarey world. My children are all in their 20's now, have children of their own. If I had small kids in this day & age I don't think I would trust them to any daycare, low or high income. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, just as we all have and continue to do. We do the best we can for where we're at in life. Please don't condemn people for doing the best they can with their kids, whether you agree with their choices or not. Yes, there's a trade off to having only one income in a family. But there's a trade off to having two incomes. Everyone has to decide for themselves what's best for their family. Just because someone meets the guidelines for low income does not mean they're trashy people. I know a lot of wealthy people I would not want for neighbors.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

There you go again. I told you about the pre school in basehor, where the women had a sincere heart for showing love to the children. It was a christian preschool, but these women did their jobs because they really cared about the kids. That has nothing to do with being religious. And I did not say that the low income daycares were full of drug dealers and so on. I said you don't know what your going to get when you place your child in a low income daycare or any daycare. yes, you can do research, but bottom line is you don't find everything on the internet. you don't know how the worker will react to a bully situation. I know a young woman who had no choice but to place her child in daycare at the 6 week mark. He came home with a bite on his arm that lasted for weeks. no one could tell her how it happened. Not that they wouldn't, but they didn't know. I think daycares are overwhelmed, and no they don't pay their wokers enough, but then child care cost way to much. I love my kids and I want to raise them, not pay someone else to. Just so (in my case) bring home next to nothing in profit. You do take words out of context, you did it to Christianlady!I beleive the mag, was Family Circle, check it out. Again, I was not the one that stated "This will be the ghetto of Lawrence." I wanted you and enforcer to quit acting as though the people trying to get on their feet needed to suffer for the mistakes they made. I only have one chance to raise my kids, and it is more important to me than anything else. If that means living without from time to time, then so be it. Get off my back.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

OTTR, I didn't complain about affordable housing. The whole point of my story since you've really mssed it! Was that we started out great, great home, great income. And with the accident that my husband had, and a layoff everything fell apart. AGAIN, I said "I don't blame the bank for taking the house, we couldn't pay." For your information I chose to stay at home prior to this all happening. With the comment on the whole "ghetto" thing. I wanted you to see that not all low income people are trash they don't bring the ghetto. I didn't start the low income daycare crap. I stated that my friend didn't like her options for low imcome daycare. You pulled the words out of context there too, thats why this crap started. Then someone commented on how I don't know anything about hard time, so I told the rest of out past two years. I hope your starting to see what I meant by you can't read. And just to head you off, yes I can't spell! You see what you want, so you can start a fight. DID ANYONE SEE ME SAY ONE BAD THING ABOUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING???? NO, I said it was a good thing......

Tanya Spacek 8 years, 4 months ago

Before I was married (last fall), I was a single mom with two kids. I actually got started with TTH and got on the waiting list for a rehabbed or TTH-built house a couple of years ago, because I wasn't having any luck finding a house under $100,000 that would pass city inspection. I made $9 an hour (not much more now) at the time, and with SSI for my son, I qualified at the lowest tier, which meant I could afford a loan of $80k. this is with grants that I'd also applied for and qualified for. my other choice was Habitat for Humanity, but TTH ended up working out better in my situation.

oddly enough, once we were married, my husband and I still qualified for TTH, because his addition to the household ended up cancelling the income he added to the household.

it is possible for some, of course not all, single parents to get a house using these programs. what worked for me was researching, digging up grants to qualify for, and signing up for any programs related to this effort. I lucked out with a grant for my son's disability that helped get a smaller loan. he may be living with us for perhaps the rest of his life, so this house is as much his as it is mine and my husband's.

kelly kouns 8 years, 4 months ago

I think people are losing site of what this original story was about. People need help with their housing situation. There are good and bad at every income level. You can chose to believe that only low income people are trashy and bring down real estate values. But, like I said before, there are a lot of wealthy people I wouldn't want as neighbors or taking care of my kids. Look at many celebrities and other wealthy people, such as Enron executives. I think we should all look at ourselves and how we treat others, not how we are being treated. Then let your conscience be your guide.

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

Amen, christianlady! luckynun, I've tried to find these programs, but most seem to be geard towards Douglas county. Any input on where to research would be helpful! thanks, and May God bless you and your family!

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

No, I dont deny typing any of it. However you did not add your comments that started the whole thing.

"What we can assume is that this area will become the projects of lawrence."

I've already cleared my name with the day care thing. I was making a point about a friend, and then you nailed me with "You cant tell me there is only one daycare in Leavenworth?" DID I SAY THAT?? No you started it. I was trying to say one thing, and you pulled parts out to start something. I try to help everyone, but I see your beyond help. My words go over your head. Every one else seems to understand what I was saying about daycare after you pulled it out of my story. I guess your the only one still confused. I don't need to explain what I said. the only reason I've been doing so, is for you. but for some reason you just cant seem to crasp the plan and simple. The black and white. Sometimes things are just what they are. I am going to be the bigger person and claim victory. I am moving on to the next post! I'm sure I meet up with you again! Oh, and just so you know, the links you provided are not for me, because I like my home and my landlord. I thought I would pass them along. I wanted to clerify, just in case you were confused!

mommy3 8 years, 4 months ago

OH, and just in case any new comers question my integrety...just read the comments start to finish. I could go back and chop SWBSOW's words, and make them sound pretty bad too, but I have a life!

kelly kouns 8 years, 4 months ago

Apology accepted. I wish you and mommy3 could agree to disagree and forgive and forget.

kg52 8 years, 4 months ago

TO: Offtothe right: To answer your question I am now a self-contracting medical transcriptionist - wish I could have done it when my kids were small - it would have saved a lot on day care - speaking of such I always had private babysitters (don't know if people still do this), had to pick and choose but always ended up with people who loved my kids almost as much as I did. By the way I have done the same kind of work for over 30 years - self taught on-the-job, no formal training. I guess I was lucky to have found something that has stuck around all these years! Now I am lucky enough to be able to do it at home!

kg52 8 years, 4 months ago

TO: Offtothe right: To answer your question I am now a self-contracting medical transcriptionist - wish I could have done it when my kids were small - it would have saved a lot on day care - speaking of such I always had private babysitters (don't know if people still do this), had to pick and choose but always ended up with people who loved my kids almost as much as I did. By the way I have done the same kind of work for over 30 years - self taught on-the-job, no formal training. I guess I was lucky to have found something that has stuck around all these years!

kg52 8 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, somehow my comment(answer) got in twice.
Though I work on a computer I am not the sharpest tack when it comes to the technical aspects. I sometimes hit the wrong button!

kelly kouns 8 years, 4 months ago

SWBSOW - In defense of mommy3, she has taken some pretty tough criticism. We all have different experiences in life. Hers apparently have been different than yours which led to a difference of opinion. Several people have said some very hurtful things on this forum. Again, I think we should all examine our conscience and realize how we've said some hurtful things and lost site of the original story.

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