Archive for Wednesday, August 14, 2013

40 years ago: Tenants face huge rent increases as local project loses federal subsidy

August 14, 2013


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 14, 1973:

Tenants of the apartment complex Hope Plaza, 255 N. Michigan, received notices this week that rents would be increased effective Oct. 1. Following a foreclosure action earlier this year, the federal subsidy had been removed and the project was scheduled to be sold; the new rent rates were designed to make the complex "more viable" to potential buyers. For the 24 subsidized apartments, rents were to increase from a range of $34-$74 to a new range of $115-$160; for other tenants, rents were increasing 5.5 to 17 percent. Many residents, perhaps as many as 75 percent, would probably be forced to move, according to a former Hope Plaza manager. Arthur Katz, dean of the Kansas University School of Social Welfare and former member of the board that had been operating the complex, said that the project had been financially "doomed to fail" and blamed the failure on "the halfhearted way it was planned and subsided." He held that it "should have been protected with a greater effort of public tax contributions," and queried whether public housing was to be looked at "as free market housing or as a social utility, a necessary service" to be supported by public funds.


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