Housing tax credits denied again
An Overland Park company that applied for tax credits to build 28 low-income rental houses north of Marion’s ball park was notified last week that the grant was denied for a second consecutive year.
MRE Capital planned to build the homes on a 250-by-900-foot lot on Timber Rd. The land would have been donated to MRE by Marion Advancement Campaign, which owns the property.
“We didn’t get funding,” Dan Sailler, co-founder of MRE, wrote in an email Thursday to MAC board president Mike Powers. “I will find out why and how we got beat over the next few days. Sorry for the bad news.”
A score tally provided by Kansas Housing Resources Corp. showed that out of 27 grant applications submitted in 2023, the proposed Marion Ridge development earned the second-lowest final score.
Scores are assigned in 17 categories, including being in underserved areas, proximity to amenities, below-market loans and supports, community revitalization, income targeting, senior housing with services, fair market rents, and conversion to home ownership.
MRE’s first application described both the Timber Rd. location and a plot northeast of Roosevelt and Kellison Sts.
The second location, a reserved section of the city industrial park, at one time also was rejected as home for Marion’s Family Dollar and Dollar Tree store.
The grant was awarded in 2022 then rescinded when KHRC discovered the error in listing two sites on the application. MRE was told by housing officials that it could reapply for this year’s round of grants.
For now, the future of the project remains uncertain.
Powers said a meeting between MRE and MAC would decide whether to move forward without a grant, apply again, or scrap the plan.
According to MRE’s application, five of the three-bedroom houses would rent for $300 to people with up to 30% of the median income for city residents and 23 houses would rent for $700 a month for people with up to 60% of the median income.
The land in question, originally donated for construction of a later abandoned movie theatre, technically is not in the city of Marion.
City administrator Brogan Jones acknowledged last week that although the city reported it as being within city limits, the property never actually was annexed.
Construction might not have immediately begun even if the tax credits were granted because no notice was provided to a farmer renting the land that his rental would end next year.