Lawrence city leaders approve $1.26M in grant awards from affordable housing trust fund
photo by: Nick Krug
The Lawrence City Commission has approved $1.26 million in grants from the city’s affordable housing trust fund.
The seven projects include a supportive housing project, rental and utility assistance, and transitional housing for women recovering from substance abuse. The commission deferred one potential grant for further discussion.
The seven organizations and projects selected to receive funds in 2023 are as follows, according to a news release from the city:
-Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center will be awarded $108,000 for a new development that will provide supportive and rehabilitative housing for those experiencing homelessness. The project will create 22 to 24 housing units above a commercial space that will be used for job training and development for residents.
-DCCCA will be awarded $200,000 for a new development of affordable transitional homes for women and their children. The project will create 10 units that will house women who are recovering from substance abuse.
-The Douglas County Housing Stabilization Collaborative will be awarded $350,000 for support services to provide rental and utility assistance to those experiencing housing instability.
-Flint Hills Holdings Group will be awarded $100,000 for an affordable multifamily housing development called the New Hampshire Street Lofts. Located at 1000 New Hampshire St., the building will have 48 affordable housing units on the upper floors with commercial space on the first floor.
-Independence Inc. will be awarded $50,000 for the Accessible Housing Program, which allows seniors and people with disabilities to make needed accessibility modifications to their homes.
-The Senior Resource Center for Douglas County will be awarded $53,000 for accessible safe housing for seniors. The center will use the funds for low-income seniors who need assistance with maintenance and accessibility modifications to allow them to “age in place” safely in their homes.
-Wheatland Investments Group will be awarded $400,000 for an affordable multifamily housing development called The Estates of Lawrence. This is a new construction rental project targeted to seniors. It will have 16 two-bedroom units and 22 three-bedroom units.
The commission deferred one potential grant for more discussion. The Affordable Housing Advisory Board recommended that the city award $400,000 to an affordable housing project, Union at the Loop, that is currently under construction by The Annex Group at 1381 North 1300 Road. Mayor Lisa Larsen expressed concern that development fees for the project were 11%, which she said were higher than what the city usually sees. Larsen suggested, and other commissioners agreed, that the grant be deferred for further discussion.
Lawrence voters approved a 0.05% sales tax in 2017, which will provide funding for the affordable housing trust fund for a period of 10 years. Following the commission’s approval, city staff will now begin drafting agreements with the approved grant recipients to receive the funds in 2023.