“In Great Bend, like in other communities, there is a real housing shortage,” said Ross Vogel, owner of Employer Housing Partners LLC of Kansas City, Mo.
Vogal wishes to construct six four-plexes in northcentral Great Bend. These would be market-rate apartments, and open to anyone.
The Great Bend City Council Monday night considered the new plat and new zoning for the area to help make this crucial project come to fruition. The council rightly identified this housing shortage as pivotal drag on the community’s growth and even identified it as a top priority.
But, all the zoning in the world will not solve the problem. “We have to figure out how to make the numbers work,” Vogel said, adding that profits in the housing business are slim.
So, he and other developers require tax credits to help make their endeavors worthwhile.
The City of Great Bend also understands this. They have submitted an application to the Kansas Department of Commerce to have the area in question named a Rural Housing Incentive District.
If approved, this district would provide the tax credits needed for housing project to go forward. So, there is a lot riding on this.
We have developers interested in us. The city has taken the steps it needs to take.
Now, it is up to the state. City officials said they hope to hear about the fate of the RHID application by week’s end.
We can only hope the KDC in Topeka understands the urgency as much as we do here.