Government
4:26 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Million Dollar Fix Keeps Kansas City Trend-Maker Affordable

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is funding a one million dollar renovation of more upscale low-income townhouses in central Kansas City.

The goal is to keep the development more affordable, and federal money makes it so.

Building the complex was intended to be a game-changer in a rough neighborhood, according to U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver who represents Missouri’s 5th District. He said its presence eased-back blight.

Squier Park Townhomes at Armour and The Paseo are owned by the non-profit Neighborhood Housing Services company, first occupied in the mid 1990s and ready for rehabbing now.

Mark Stalsworth runs the firm and says the million-dollar job starts next month.  Being able to do it without borrowing money allows rent to stay beneath $600 a month.

In Stalsworth’s words,“Our preference for this project was to keep them as affordable housing units, because 16 units of three-bedroom, two-baths with garages is sort of a nice little anchor for this area.”

Typical rental repair, said Stalsworth, can range from holes punched in walls to theft of copper pipe. Not in this case, he said, describing renovations as fixing wear-and-tear and roofing.

Stalsworth said competition for the grant was stiff in budget paring times.  He credits Missouri’s congressional delegation and city government with winning the funds.