Housing Opportunities Inc. is still seeking business owners and their employees to submit letters of support for a grant to help built moderately prices homes in Great Bend. The grant would provide down payment assistance to seven qualified homeowners.
But, she has to prove to the state there is a need.
Packets are available at the HOI office, 1313 Stone in Great Bend. One can also call and Dayton will email the packet.
For more information, call Dayton at 620-792-3299 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time is running out for Vicki Dayton of Housing Opportunities Inc. She wants to apply for a state grant to bring more moderately price homes to Great Bend, but has not received as much community support as she thought she would.
Now, her deadline is looming in three weeks and she is getting desperate.
“I’m in a quandary,” Dayton said. She’s been at this for about a month and is stunned there has been more interest.
She has utilized traditional media, social media, and has mailed or handed out over 100 information packets. She has attended public gatherings, such as Great Bend Chamber of Commerce coffees.
“How disappointing it would be for our community to not step up and embrace that this is what we need so we can have this money,” she said.
With a target of seven new homes, the project is a partnership between the City of Great Bend and HOI, with HOI writing for the $175,000 grant. The paperwork is due to the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation in Topeka by Nov. 13.
If the grant is submitted, Dayton said she should get an answer by Dec. 11. She hopes to have all seven homes completed within two years.
However, that’s a big maybe.
She was hoping to have 30 letters of support from businesses, but has received only three. She was hoping to have 20 letters of interest from families wanting one of these homes, but has received only three.
“We want to hear from our local business to prove there is a need,” Dayton said. She has to convince the KHRC that the new housing would lead to economic development.
What is needed
From employers, Dayton wants to know: The number of jobs created in the past two years; the number of jobs they expect to add in the next two years; and the number of jobs they can’t fill due to a lack of housing.
From the employees, Dayton wants to know: If they live in Great Bend, is their current housing substandard or inadequate; or if they don’t live in Great Bend, would they relocate here if adequate housing was available.
The letters were supposed to come in from employers by this past Friday. But, “I am going to extend this one more week,” she said, adding she will wait until late this week.
After that, it may be too late. “If I don’t have it by then, I won’t have time to write the grant and submit it.
“I think its a slam dunk,” Dayton said of Great Bend’s chances. She’s reviewed all 30 grantees from the past three or four years and thinks Great Bend has as good of a case as any of the other successful applicants.
“This is a brand-new house,” she said. The homes will be in the $200,000 range and will be located on lots already owned by HOI in northern Great Bend.
What does the grant do?
The funds will provide $25,000 down-payment assistance package for each of seven qualifying households, Dayton said. In addition to the down-payment assistance there is the possibility of about $20,000 in a 10-year Neighborhood Revitalization tax rebate program.
That could amount to $45,000 is savings over the 10 years, she said. “That’s a real good deal.”
Incomes served will include households with gross yearly income of: One person at $69,656; two people at $79,594; three people at $89,531; four people at $99,469; five people at $107,438; and six people at $115,406.
Dayton said families interested must pick one of three house plans, go to banker and get pre-approved for the required amount and prove to HOI they have been approved. After that, they can pick their home’s options and select a lot.
HOI will be the general contractor and bid out the project and oversee it.
For about 30 years, the State of Kansas has offered programs for low-income housing. But, a few years ago, cites and counties approached Kansas Housing Resources Corporation about the need for creating housing for moderate- to high-income residents.
The idea was to help employers recruit and retain employees. Three years ago, this program was developed.
Now, she is out beating the bushes. “Please don’t let this opportunity pass by,” she said.