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Council OKs grant application for housing project
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In addition to the Grant Street apartment complex, another housing development was a topic at Monday night’s Great Bend City Council meeting. Adopted was a resolution authorizing the submission of an application for a $300,000 2014 Moderate Income Housing Grant related to the construction of six market-rate four-plexes at 28th and Washington.
Ross Vogel, of Kansas City-based Rural Housing Partners wants to construct six four-plexes on what is now a vacant square block at 29th and Washington. These market-rate apartments, open to anyone, would be 1,000-square-foot units with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
However, City Administrator Howard Partington said Vogel is having a difficult time securing the local investments he needs for the $2.6 million project. The grant funds, if approved, might help him to get the investors to “pull the string o this.”
The MIH Grant is administered by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation. To be eligible, applicants must be either an eligible city or county.
An eligible city is defined as any city incorporated in Kansas with a population under 60,000. Applicant cities may partner with outside entities or individuals. But the city retains full responsibility for compliance with all rules and requirements.
Under the guidelines, applicants may only use funds for infrastructure or actual housing development. Applicants are encouraged to apply for projects that leverage funds from both private and public sources.
Grants or loans will be limited to no more than $400,000. Great Bend is asking for $300,000, but will likely get less than that.
The MIH grant requires units within the MIH Grant program be within 150 percent of area’s average median income. In this case, the AMI for two residents is $77,250 per year.
The application will allocate eight of the 24 units to be in the MHI program. This means, eight of the 24 units must have residence whose incomes qualify for the under AMI range.
The planned lease rates are just below $900 which is an attainable rate given the median incomes in Great Bend The project lease rates will be all market rate.
The city would be responsible for administering the grant in conjunction with the KHRC and project developer Rural Housing Partners.
The project would be owned by a consortium of local investor owners.
MIH applications are due Sept. 5 and awardees will be notified on Oct. 10. Should the grant be approved, but the project falls through, the money would be returned to the state.
In another housing-related matter, the council
The council adopted a declaration of restrictions and protective covenants for Lots 1, 2, and 3 of Block 10, Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Block 11, Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 of Block 12 of the Amber Meadows Addition. These are the 19 lots that comprise the RHID, City Attorney Bob Suelter said.
The restrictions are similar to those for the existing houses in the area, including size, roof pitch, siding requirement and others.
In addition, the council voted to replat Amber Meadows Block 12. The replat is necessary as the original plat did not have enough depth on the western most lots to accommodate the building on reasonable sized houses, said City Engineer Rob Winiecke. The replat adds 7.5 feet to the west of the original plat. The land was already owned by the city and is that land between the cemetery and the Amber Meadows Addition. The planning commission minutes also include this item on their July 28 meeting. 
Vogel is also wanting to develop eight or nine single-family homes in Amber Meadows, and start construction in October. There are at total of 42 undeveloped lots in Amber Meadows, all of which are owned by the city.
Both of these developments fall under the existing Rural Housing Incentive District that covers the Reserves at Trail Ridge apartment complex, the 48-unit income-qualified facility on Grant Street being developed by Leawood-based Overland Property Group.