Across America, the growing housing crisis is causing negative consequences for citizens, especially for low-middle income (LMI) families, resulting in a ripple effect on the economy. Kansas’s major metropolitan centers, such as Kansas City, are feeling the effects of these shortages; the already low supply of available, affordable housing continues to dip while the high demand causes an increase in prices, resulting in residents relocating to more affordable areas outside of Wyandotte County or sacrificing other necessities such as healthy food or healthcare to pay the rent. In most cases, these families are severely cost burdened, spending more than half their income on housing. In turn, this is causing irreparable damage to the city’s workforce and economic development potential as well as the wellbeing of its citizens.
The Economic Development Division of the Unified Government of Kansas City and Wyandotte County (Unified Government) is currently working to increase affordable housing options. The Unified Government will partner with FUSE Corps to help research and design a cohesive housing development strategy that will help increase housing affordability and availability, encourage housing retention in vulnerable neighborhoods, and maximize local economic impacts on building owners, residents, and businesses. The FUSE Executive Fellow will: conduct a housing market value analysis; research and design a strategic plan for affordable housing; and research funding opportunities and policies to build staff capacity and sustain the program.