The Emporia City Commission approved a $400,000 Moderate Income Housing grant application on behalf of a proposed housing development slated to construct 24 duplex housing units in east Emporia. Overall, the developer is seeking $650,000 from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation for the project.

The two-bedroom, one bath units are being developed by Heartland Housing Partners — Cory Haag and Ross Vogel. According to Haag, the properties would be the Winston Lofts, located at 412 and 416 E. 12th Ave., the Senate Lofts, located at 1124 and 1128 Union St., and the Mallory Square Lofts, located at 1106 and 1110 Mechanic St.

“Over the last three years, we’ve had these housing studies and we see the need for housing,” he said, noting that study after study has identified the need for more than 400 new housing units in the city. Of those units, he said there was a great need for multi-family units as well.

Fortunately, Haag said, his company specializes in multi-family developments.

“I do have a strong desire to help Emporia,” Haag said. “I like to work with the city of Emporia. We can work together and we can make great things happen.”

Units were expected to rent for around $850-950 a month. Haag said the units fit within the city’s comprehensive plan to revitalize and redevelop blighted areas of the city.

City special projects consultant Jim Witt said some dilapidated buildings would be removed during the process.

Haag’s development partner for the project, Vogel, said Moderate Income Housing grants help get the ball rolling for projects like this. He noted that Emporia needs apartment housing and now is a good time to invest in these projects.

“2022 has been an incredible year for housing in Kansas, despite the headwinds we have against us in the supply chain,” he said.

Vogel said the state legislature did bring housing as an “actual option to Emporia” and other places, but approving legislation that hasn’t been seen in other states.

“Our company has been really successful in receiving MIH grants,” Vogel said. “It’s going to be much more competitive now than it has been, which is a really good thing for the program and the state. You have a unique opportunity with the MIH program to get some apartments going.”

Commissioner Susan Brinkman noted that the new apartments would be located within the boundaries for William Allen White Elementary School, which is located in an area in need of revitalization. USD 253 proposed a plan to “pause” William Allen White Elementary School just before the current school year began, but the plan was rejected by the board of education.

Commissioners approved the application 5-0.

The city also approved ordinance 22-43 and resolution 3679 authorizing GO bonds in the amount of $7.135 million.

(2) comments

RogerJ

We need nice duplexes or townhomes on West side of town. And have the option to buy, not rent. Not everyone wants to live in the downtown area and are college age.

panderso

Wish you would build some patio units for seniors to purchase that want to downsize. That would also free up some housing.

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