DODGE CITY, Kansas – Margarita Delarosa, a single mother of three, saved up for two years to buy her home. She’s the first person to buy a house through Dodge City’s Abandoned Housing Program, “It was very helpful,” she said.
The program aims to create more affordable homes in an area where there just aren’t enough.
“Finding developers to build this low to moderate income with construction costs where they are, we were not able to find that,” said Leslie Lomas with the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation.
“How do we get a nice home for a family and make it affordable and make it efficient? How do we bring different types of resources together?” Executive Director at the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation Dennis Mesa said those are questions they try to answer to bring affordable housing to Kansans.
With funding from the city and a Moderate Income Housing grant from the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation the program buys abandoned houses and flips them with help from the community college and volunteers. They sell for about $90,000 and the profits are used to buy more property.
The abandoned housing program is working on three more houses right now, two should be ready to sell within the next six months.
“It stabilizes the neighborhoods, it’s putting people where they need to be, it’s putting property back on the tax rolls and it’s building our economic base,” Lomas said.
Delarosa said she’s glad the city is making use of unused space and is happy to have a permanent, comfortable home for her daughters.
“We have more space, it’s more comfortable and we’re not moving from place to place,” she said.