Affordable housing board recommends 2 programs for extra $200K provided by city leaders
photo by: Mike Yoder
The city’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board has recommended that two programs benefit from the extra $200,000 city leaders dedicated to affordable housing this year.
As part of the city’s budget process this summer, Lawrence city commissioners determined what to do with a $2.25 million surplus in the city’s general fund. Commissioners voted to put $2.05 million of the surplus in the city’s capital improvement reserve fund, which is used to fund improvements to city facilities and infrastructure, and to transfer the remaining $200,000 to the city’s affordable housing trust fund to support services for those affected by the city’s affordable housing shortage.
At its meeting Monday, AHAB reviewed proposals for five programs and voted unanimously to recommend awards to two programs, both of which also include case management services for program recipients. The board members agreed that counseling and support services were important parts of the city’s affordable housing efforts.
“We certainly don’t do much of a service if we stick them in an apartment or a home and don’t help them develop the habits and the discipline to assemble a budget or the circumstances to help them to stay there,” said AHAB member Ron Gaches.
AHAB is recommending the city provide $90,000 to a partnership between Tenants to Homeowners and The Willow Domestic Violence Center to create transitional housing and permanent affordable rentals for survivors of domestic violence.
AHAB is also recommending the city provide $110,000 to a partnership between the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority and Family Promise of Lawrence for New Horizons Transitional Housing Program. The program will provide rent assistance and case management for homeless families.
The three programs that applied for funding but did not receive the board’s recommendation were People Owned and Operated Collective Housing, a security deposit and rental assistance program; Community Village Lawrence, an independent living program for seniors; and Housing and Credit Counseling, a counseling program for prospective first-time homebuyers and renters.
The Lawrence City Commission has the ultimate say on how the funds will be distributed, and it will receive the board’s funding recommendation at an upcoming meeting.