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Housing incentives announced

Staff writer

Five middle income families will be eligible for incentives of up to $25,000 each to build new houses along the east side of Coble St. north of Sherman.

Mayor Todd Heitschmidt said Tuesday that while a $125,000 grant from Kansas Housing Resources might not seem like a lot, it will help leverage about $600,000 in construction and labor.

Fred Bentley, director of rental development for KHR, said housing for middle-income families is a tool for people moving into a community.

KHR’s Moderate Income Housing grant will be used for development and construction of five new homes during 2018. Five awards of up to $25,000 each will be given to applicants who meet guidelines. Applicants can be families or builders.

To qualify, a family of two to five must have an annual income between $32,888 and $111,000 per year.

The home must be between 1,250 and 1,350 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It also must be energy efficient and have room for future growth. The finished house must be valued between $125,000 and $144,700.

For a developer, the grant will provide funding for engineering, design, and permits, nearly free land, construction loan guarantees and assistance, marketing and promotional support.

For a homeowner, the grant will provide up to $15,000 assistance with closing costs and down payment, property tax rebate program, and assistance with loan qualification.

Marion economic development director Randy Collett said the initiative is the outgrowth of a 2016 city housing assessment.

The assessment team reported that one in eight Marion houses needs repair. The team of volunteers who drove by and looked at houses reported they considered 15 houses beyond repair at a reasonable cost.

City officials set four goals after the study:

  • Develop programs to help owners reinvest in their property.
  • Spur home improvement.
  • Develop a patio home project for seniors regardless of income, and
  • Develop a rental inspection and resource program.

Last modified Dec. 21, 2017

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