State grant could ease Garden’s housing shortage

Michelle Stanton recently moved back to Garden but had trouble finding a place to live.

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Garden City continues to face a housing shortage, but a state grant could help pay for dozens of homes to be built within a year.

“My husband and I wanted to move back to Garden, and we obviously needed a place to live,” said Michelle Stanton, who moved back to Garden weeks ago. “We were kind of talking about buying, and it just wasn’t really in the cards. There just was very little on the market.”

For Stanton and her husband, moving back home to Garden City was difficult, even with family and friends helping them find a home. They spent about two months searching.

“Renting was also kind of a problem as well,” said Stanton. “It was just hard to find any place to live, renting or buying.”

With more and more jobs popping up in Garden, houses can’t be built fast enough for the growing population.

“We have a huge shortage right now of housing,” said Carol Davidson with Garden City’s Community Development department, “and we’re always looking for ways to get in developers to get more housing for the population.”

One strategy is to apply for two grants through the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation to build homes and apartments. Garden City last got this grant in 2013, and dozens of homes were built on Pioneer Road.

“We have had success in the past,” said Davidson. “I’m always optimistic. I’m hoping for the best for both of these. They’re both great projects. One’s a small project, one’s a larger project.”

The Garden City commission today approved two proposals to be submitted to the state. They prioritized one asking for $400,000 that would fund enough duplexes and four-plexes to house 58 families.

The second proposal is for $200,000 and would build four new homes.

“The more we can get, the better,” said Stanton. “The more variety we can get will be helpful for Garden. It’s not slowing down. It doesn’t look like it’s going to. So I think it would be a really good move for Garden City.”

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation will notify applicants around December 1 if they will receive a grant.

Once the funds are awarded, the project must be complete within a year.