Gov. amends budget to include funds for new ‘housing trust fund’

Raises pay for Kansas Bureau of Investigation
FILE -  (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
FILE - (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)((AP Photo/Charlie Riedel))
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 2:27 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - With the results of Kansas’ first housing needs assessment in 30 years now available, the Governor has released Budget Amendments to include funds to a new housing trust fund.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says an additional $50 million for affordable housing has been made available through her Budget Amendment released on Tuesday, March 15.

“Kansas is seeing historic economic growth, and we have to ensure we have long-term, sustainable funding to provide affordable housing for our workforce,” Gov. Kelly said. “A shortage of quality, affordable housing is a barrier to economic growth and development throughout the state - and particularly in rural Kansas. To continue to attract business, and the workforce needed to fill jobs, we must develop more affordable housing opportunities throughout the state.”

Kelly said the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation and the Office of Rural Prosperity in the Department of Commerce have completed 2021 comprehensive housing needs assessments. She said this was the first done in nearly three decades and addressed a shortage of data on existing housing resources, as well as current and projected needs.

The Governor said the Housing Needs Assessment found aging Kansas housing stock presents a significant challenge since the cost of renovation or new construction is now higher than the market value.

According to Kelly, the additional funding will establish the Rural Housing Revolving Loan Program to be given by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation. She said the housing trust fund will be the first of its kind in the Sunflower State and is supported by a coalition of rural stakeholders.

Kelly said funding is also included to build on her initial investments in law enforcement agencies through the addition of $3.6 million for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation - including an increase to starting pay and current salaries to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of agents. She said the move also recognizes the rigorous vetting process KBI officers, forensic scientists and professional staff must endure to be hired.

To read the Governor’s full Budget Amendments, click HERE.

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