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This is how three local groups are making buying a home affordable in Kansas City

ReNew KC Neighborhoods, Community LINC Housing, and Equitable Development Partners have joined forces to unlock the keys to home ownership for more Kansas Citians.

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A new home, a new day, a new light.

Photo by Community LINC Housing

How it works

Get a house with a white picket fence, and maybe a goldendoodle, too. It’s the classic image of the American Dream, but it can feel far-fetched for many Kansas Citians.

In order to turn more dreams into realities, ReNew KC Neighborhoods, Community LINC Housing, and Equitable Development decided to team up + maximize each organization’s special set of skills.

ReNew KC Neighboorhoods brings its construction and permitting knowledge; Equitable Development Partners manages all aspects of rennovations; and Community LINC Housing processes family applications, provides classes that help applicants become “mortgage ready,” and connects them with social services.

But how exactly is this trio making housing affordable?

Editor Charmaine chatted with Anna White, director of Community LINC, and Jacque Hunter, program coordinator for Community LINC Housing to find out.

Who is eligible to participate?

Individuals or families that make ~50% or less than the area’s median income value, adjusted by family size.

Where are the houses located?

Currently, houses are primarily located east of Troost Avenue.

How does the process work, step-by-step?

According to Hunter:

  1. First, you contact her.
  2. Then, Community LINC Housing verifies your income.
  3. Afterwards, you take an orientation program.
  4. Next, sign your intake paperwork.
  5. Every third Saturday of the month you attend home ownership, home buying, and financial education classes.
  6. During that time, the team builds a budget with you and determines the monthly mortgage payments you can afford.
  7. Then, the team helps you apply for a mortgage and sticks with you through the process.

While waiting to get “mortgage ready” applicants may get the opportunity to live in their future home and pay toward the purchase of it.

How are you keeping housing affordable amid inflation and rising interest rates?

“Right now, it’s being creative about how we pull together subsidies for the cost of the construction and rehab,” White said. “There are federal programs, other local programs, and then there are also programs to help the buyer with down payment assistance. And then increasing the buying power of the household, and trying to balance those two.”

How do you determine priority?

“We have a points system where participation and mortgage readiness are both used in efforts to keep it equitable for everyone in the program,” Hunter told us. “So there is a certain number of points if you attend your Saturday classes [and] if your credit score is in this range.”

How many homeowners have been placed so far?

Hunter and White say the team has completed one remodel so far and has one future homeowner earmarked for that home. They also have four people who completed their classes and chose to purchase homes traditionally.

How many homes do you expect to sell in the next year?

The team expects to have four homes ready for owners by February 2024, and to break ground on a new build in the Ivanhoe neighborhood in March 2024.

By the end of next year, they plan to have a total of 20 homes built and ready to make dreams come true.

Want more information? Link up with Community LINC Housing.

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