State grant funds new homes in Greensburg

Alesa Miller
One of two new duplexes is under construction at the corner of Oak and Garfield streets in Greensburg, made possible by a large grant from the state Moderate Income Housing program. Both duplexes should be finished  by August.

Greensburg was recently one of 13 Kansas communities awarded $2.3 million for rural housing development from the Kansas Moderate Income Housing program, a supplement to Kansas Housing funding from the state. The grant money will help develop affordable housing for moderate-income families.  
What this means for Greensburg is that two new duplexes will be built to serve as housing units for moderate income families, something the Greensburg area has been in need of since the tornado in 2007. 
The duplexes, already under construction, are located across the street from the Youth Core Ministries office on the corner of Garfield and Oak streets. The first duplex could be finished in just four months followed by the next one completed in another four months, with the overall goal of having both ready to rent by August 2020, pending any major weather issues or other delays, according to Stacy Barnes, Greensburg City Administrator.
”This grant award from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation is a great opportunity to develop four new moderate income housing units and provide additional housing opportunities in Greensburg,” Barnes said. “Housing is one piece of the puzzle of Greensburg’s continued rebuilding and growth and we are excited to have this new construction in our community. We are glad to partner with developers Clyde and Cindy Schmidt to make this possible.”
The Schmidts, who own A1 Concrete in Greensburg, are serving as the general contractors, developers of the two duplexes and will be the owners and managers of the property each unit when finished. Each duplex will have two 3-bedroom, 2-bath homes in them.  The Schmidts are working closely with the city to make these four new homes possible for the community.
The Schmidts, who also own Gunsmoke KC Investors LLC, have worked on a similar project with MIH grant in Kinsley. As contractors they put the units up and then own, manage and rent them.
“It worked out that Greensburg was available for the grant, just like Kinsely was, and now we are happy to be able to serve Kiowa County as well,” Cindy Schmidt said. 
The grant is for $400,000 but that will not cover everything and the Schmidts will have to make up any difference and hold all the risk if the project is not completed. 
“Because it is a moderate housing grant project there will be income guidelines that the renters will have to meet,” Schmidt said. “Right now those in a one-person household must make at least $32,000 a year and a two-person entity must make $36,000, a 3-person family $40,000 and so on.”” 
Schmidt said she expects the Greensburg duplexes to rent for around the same price as the one in Kinsley which run between $800-900 per month, but the exact amount is yet to be finalized. 
The 3-bedroom 2-bath homes will each have approximately 1,600 square feet  and will have brand new appliances with washer and dryer hookups and a single car garage.  
The grants or loans to develop multi-family rental units, single family homes, and water, sewer, and street extensions in cities or counties with populations of fewer than 60,000 have all been made possible by the state of Kansas’ Moderate Income Housing (MIH) program and supplemental Kansas Housing. 
“Since 2012, the Kansas Legislature has recognized the need for quality, affordable housing for those who do not qualify for federal housing assistance, yet cannot afford market rate housing,” Kansas Housing Executive Director Ryan Vincent said. “From workforce housing serving the agriculture industry in western Kansas, to repurposing an abandoned elementary school block into affordable single-family homes in southeast Kansas, we’ve seen countless examples of how the program has addressed housing shortages in rural communities across the state. This year MIH applications doubled, demonstrating the ongoing need for this crucial assistance.” 
This year’s awards will also rehabilitate a vacant long-term care facility into affordable rental units in Osage City, build a five-unit subdivision for single family homes in Sedgwick and expand a homebuyer assistance program in Lyons.
Kansas Housing administers the MIH program at no cost to the state. The Legislature allocates funding on a pass-through basis, and Kansas Housing manages the application and award process. 
The MIH program is the state’s sole housing appropriation from the Kansas Legislature. With a 2019 MIH budget of $2 million, Kansas currently allocates roughly $.69 per citizen to housing.