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$175,000 in new home down-payment and closing cost grants
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TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO Shown are the lots on 31st Street in Great Bend included in Housing Opportunities Inc.s grant application which approved in January. HOI is now working with five families to build homes in the area.

In October 2015 Housing Opportunities, Inc. (HOI) partnered with the City of Great Bend to submit a grant application to Kansas Housing Resources Corporation for down payment and closing cost assistance to aid seven moderate income families to build new homes in Great Bend.  
The application requested $25,000 for each of the seven families for a total request of $175,000. In the grant application HOI included letters of interest from five local families and eleven supportive local businesses. In January the City of Great Bend and HOI were notified their application was approved. HOI is now working with the first five families on loan applications and approval in order to start construction this summer. If the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Rebate Program is approved the homebuilders could receive an additional $20,000 back over a ten year period too.  
HOI has seven lots on 31st Street just east of Washington Street and available house plans ranging from 1,098 to 1,250 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the main floor. Each home has an attached two car garage, open living area and given the households loan availability, a full basement. The estimated construction cost of the homes is $175,000 before the $25,000 down payment and closing cost assistance. The lot cost will be between six and eight thousand.  HOI’s on-staff General Contractor will manage the construction. Since 1999 HOI has built 15 rental properties in six Central Kansas communities with 192 rental apartments and single family homes as well as 54 single family homeownership homes in Great Bend and three in Larned between 2000 and 2006.
HOI is planning a meeting with the first five families on March 15, and encourages all others interested to contact their office at 620-792-3299 for information on how to be a participant and receive the remaining $25,000 down payment and closing cost funds.
In 2012, Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, created the Moderate Income Housing (MIH) Program after the Kansas Legislature allocated $2 million to the State Housing Trust Fund to support additional housing efforts. Many cities, counties and employers, were looking for housing funds to serve higher income level households than those served by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, now 30 years old. Since that time, the Legislature has allocated an additional $2 million each year to support these moderate income housing activities.
The MIH Program was created to serve households that cannot afford market-rate housing, but don’t qualify for federal housing assistance. The funding is awarded to cities and counties with populations of less than 60,000 for multi-family rental units, single-family for-purchase homes, water, sewer and street extensions, rehabilitation of unsafe or dilapidated vacant housing, and down-payment and closing cost assistance to homebuyers. From 2012 to 2014 there have been 26 funding awards in 24 counties.