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Topeka JUMP calls on City Council to provide affordable housing

Steve Schiffelbein, a co-chairman of the Topeka Justice Unity and Ministry Project, stands in an open area in the 1500 block of S. Kansas Avenue where he says affordable housing may be placed in  the future.
Steve Schiffelbein, a co-chairman of the Topeka Justice Unity and Ministry Project, stands in an open area in the 1500 block of S. Kansas Avenue where he says affordable housing may be placed in the future.(WIBW)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 12:01 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka JUMP will gather to say there’s no place like home.

Topeka JUMP says residents will gather on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 5:15 p.m. at the corner of 8th and Madison St. outside Topeka City Council chambers to draw attention to the need for every Topekan to have a safe place to call home.

Topeka JUMP says for years it has been calling on the City Council to establish an Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which can be immediately used for investments into struggling neighborhoods and the construction of more adequate rental units for those making less than $16 an hour.

The organization says the push comes after Development Strategies has conducted a market study on housing in Topeka affirming the group’s request for the HTF.

“Funding the housing trust find is the tool that unlocks every other strategy and priority in this study. That is why it is listed first,” says Olga Hennessey, a member of JUMP. “We want the Topeka City Council to make an initial allocation into the HTF from the 2021 budget. We just believe they can come up with about $70,000 to demonstrate their commitment to addressing gaps in affordable housing now.”

JUMP says it has 1300 names of people supporting the request which can be seen on its website. It says it is a coalition of 25 congregations in Shawnee County and is politically nonpartisan with a diverse membership from North, South, East and West Topeka, as well as some country living members. It says it is denominationally, racially and economically diverse.

For more information on the event, visit Topeka JUMP’s website.

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