Johnson County is considering a $1M investment in affordable housing in Gardner

Gardner, Kan – The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will soon consider the allocation of $ 1 million to create more affordable housing options in the southern part of the county.

Next Thursday the BOCC will consider allocating $1 million in HOME funds to support Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development in Gardner.

Different from that A $1 million loan was approved by the council for an affordable housing project in ShawneeFunding for this project will come from the federal government.

HOME funds are federal dollars given to counties from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designated to create affordable housing options for low-income residents.

Oikos Development Corporation (ODC), a Kansas City-based nonprofit, is requesting funding to build the Prairiebrooke Townhomes complex at West 174th and Killcreek Road.

Proposed location for Prairiebrooke Townhomes.

Prairiebrooke will consist of 20, 4-plex and duplex townhouse styles containing 76 units. Sixty of the proposed townhomes will be low income two and three bedroom units for households earning below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Six of the units will be HOME assisted units for families with 50% AMI and include four two-bedroom and two three-bedroom townhomes. The remaining units will be market price townhomes.

Rendering of townhomes is proposed

“What is unique about this project, this is a 30-year affordability requirement in this project. While most tax credit projects are 15 years, then they often move to the market level,” said Jay Leipzig, director of planning, housing and community development.

According to county documents, the current AMI in Johnson County is about $58,080 for a family of four. Leipzig estimates that rent for a household with an income below 60% of AMI would be about $1,500 a month.

HUD sets a maximum rent rate for households with an AMI below 50%. The maximum HUD HOME assisted rental rate is the highest rate allowed for people with an AMI below 50%.

According to a Subsidy Layer Analysis provided by M&L Associates, the maximum monthly rent in Johnson County for a HOME-supported unit is about $1,090 for a two-bedroom unit and $1,258 for a three-bedroom unit.

The developer is proposing monthly rental rates of $545 and $740 for two-bedroom units and $861 for three-bedroom units.

The total cost of this project is estimated at $15.9million. The developer plans to use about $8 million in LIHTC proceeds and about $7.5 million in construction loans in addition to the $1 million in HOME funds requested from the county.

The BOCC is scheduled to vote on the issuance of HOME funds during the next regular board meeting on Thursday, Nov.17.

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