Rural towns get housing through grants

LARNED, Kansas – Lack of housing can hurt rural communities who are trying to grow, but legislation passed in 2012 is now helping rural communities build moderate income housing.

The city of Larned is the latest to use grant money to build new houses.

For this project, it took $400,000.

In order to grow our community and attract more people here, housing was probably on the top of the list,” said Charles Spina the housing administrator for the City of Larned.

Twenty-six communities in Kansas have received a collective $6.3 dollars in grants since 2012 from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, including Garden City, Stockton, and Lyons.

“A lot of communities in the state are experiencing for economic development and job growth but the housing is not keeping up with that,” said Fred Bentley the Director of Rental Development at KHRC.

Officials in rural areas know that they can’t grow without affordable housing.

“The lack of housing was impeding economic development in rural areas, and that there could be more jobs created if there was more housing, so it is a significant issue all over the state,” Bentley said.

With the addition of the ten duplexes, officials are hoping that more people will consider Larned as a place to live and work, helping the city grow.

“To have a new facility like this, it’s pretty special for our town and we hope that people will like it and be attracted and come here,” Spina said.

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation gives out $2 million dollars in grants every year to rural communities who are looking to build mid-level housing.

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