Kansas passes major housing bills during legislative session

FILE(PHOTO: Habitat for Humanity of Omaha)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 11:40 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas passed some major housing resources bills during the 2022 legislative session.

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation says Kansas Governor Laura Kelly officially capped off the legislative session with the passage of two major bipartisan housing bills. It said both bills represent a significant expansion of resources to support statewide housing developments.

KHRC said the measures include a combined $62 million in new housing resources and initiatives to incentivize housing development.

“We’ve long known that Kansas has a shortage of quality, affordable housing, but the COVID pandemic turned our state’s housing problem into a crisis,” said Ryan Vincent, KHRC’s Executive Director. “Our 2021 statewide housing needs assessment—the first undertaken in nearly 30 years—illustrated the need for more quality, affordable housing in all regions of the state. We are grateful to state leaders, housing partners, and advocates for prioritizing this historic investment to make that housing a reality.”

KHRC noted that the measures include a suite of provisions to expand current housing development initiatives and resources.

House Substitute for Substitute for Senate Bill 267 was signed in April and designates an additional $20 million for the 2022 fiscal year from the State General Fund for the Moderate Income Housing program. The funds will be awarded to cities and counties to develop multi-family rental units and single-family for-purchase homes in communities with less than 60,000 residents. Previously, the MIH program had been funded at a rate of $2 million annually since it began in 2012.

The bill also designates $20 million from the State General Fund for the fiscal year 2023 to the State Housing Trust Fund to establish a Rural Housing Development Revolving Loan Porgram. The program provides loans or grants to rural communities for moderate- and low-income housing development-related infrastructure.

Lastly, SB 267 provides $20 million in ARPA funds for the state’s MIH program to be awarded to cities and counties to develop multi-family rental units and single-family for-purchase homes in communities with less than 60,000 residents.

House Bill 2237 was signed on May 5 and provides $13 million each year to establish a Housing Investor Credit for qualified investors who make cash investments in qualified housing developments in counties with between 8,000 to 75,000 residents.

HB 2237 also establishes the Kansas Affordable Housing Tax Credit Act - a state tax credit offered in addition to the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit - to incentivize affordable housing development.

Lastly, the bill establishes the Kansas Rural Home Loan Guarantee Act which allows the KHRC to provide loan guarantees to help address the difference between the cost of construction and the appraised value of single-family homes in counties with less than 10,000 residents.

The KHRC said it hosted a series of regional meetings and webinars in April and May to help inform the public about the new resources as well as get feedback for proposed plans. It said an additional webinar has been set for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, where attendees will learn about existing programs and new initiatives. Participants must register online.

To register for the webinar, click HERE.

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