Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

City moves forward on providing loan to homeless shelter

October 9, 2013


Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday unanimously took another step toward providing the Lawrence Community Shelter a $725,000 loan.

City commissioners directed City Manager David Corliss to begin preparing a mortgage that could be placed on the homeless shelter's facility at 3701 Franklin Park Circle. The shelter provides emergency housing and services to address the causes of homelessness.

Commissioners last month were split on whether they should place a mortgage on the property to secure the city's interests in case the shelter defaulted on the loan. But on Tuesday all five commissioners said they were fine with a placing a mortgage on the real estate, in part because the shelter's board did not object.

The loan, which will be interest free on the first $225,000 and then will carry a 2 percent rate on the rest, will replace a construction loan that is coming due at a local bank later this year.

The loan also will fund major roof repairs. Shelter leaders said there are numerous leaks in the roof. Board Chairman John Tacha told commissioners that the warranty on the roof, which is less than 20 years old, was purchased through the installer, who has gone bankrupt.

Commissioners will consider giving final approval to the loan documents in the next few weeks.


jhawkinsf 4 years, 7 months ago

How does this decision fit into the oft stated narrative that the city commission is nothing more than a shill for the chamber of commerce?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

How successful this approach is depends on the terms of the loan for one thing. It will most likely be affordable. For it will not be in the best interest of the community not to arrange the loan accordingly.

It would be smart to make it work.

Not only that this loan may well be the most fiscal responsible choice as opposed to the downtown activity once again. Homeless people cannot be tossed in jail for being homeless. Jail is a very expensive hotel for the homeless.

It may also depend on how strong the feeling to keep the shelter in that location rather than have all the homeless activity in the downtown area once again. The Chamber of Commerce has many members in downtown and throughout Lawrence. I'm sure business owners want this loan to work. No doubt homeowners want this to work.

The city takes on second mortgages frequently. The terms are quite desirable. A blessing in disguise.

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