Funds available for affordable housing projects in Lawrence

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The City of Lawrence is now accepting applications for funding from the affordable housing trust fund.

The fund comes from a .05% city sales tax, which voters approved in 2017. The city in December approved about $1.66 million in projects to be paid out of the affordable housing trust fund for 2023.

Corporations, LLCs, 501(c)(3) nonprofits, neighborhood and civic groups and City of Lawrence and Douglas County departments are eligible applicants for funding in 2024, according to a Wednesday news release from the city.

Projects eligible for funding would be for Lawrence community members living at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI), including:
• the acquisition, rehabilitation, and/or development of affordable housing, 
• accessibility modifications to affordable housing,
• housing vouchers and rental assistance,
• affordable housing community engagement projects, and
• projects that advance racial equity in affordable housing access.

“In their continuing efforts to provide all people in Lawrence with access to housing choice with affordability, the City of Lawrence has a strong commitment to expanding affordable housing across all Lawrence neighborhoods as well as a commitment to affirmatively furthering fair housing, sustainable building practices, and housing that remains affordable in perpetuity,” according to the release.

“Projects will be further prioritized based on alignment with the City of Lawrence Strategic PlanConsolidated PlanDowntown Lawrence Plan, and Plan 2040, and that meet community housing needs as described in the Lawrence Housing Market Analysis and the Kansas Statewide Needs Assessment,” according to the release.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15. Applicants — new applicants in particular — are welcome and encouraged to schedule a pre-application meeting with Lea Roselyn, housing administrator, to discuss the project and review the application, according to the release. Email her at lroselyn@lawrenceks.org.

Applicants will be asked to give a brief presentation to the Affordable Housing Advisory Board at its hybrid meeting scheduled for Monday, Oct. 9. The board forwards recommendations for funding to the Lawrence City Commission, and commissioners consider the recommendations during a regular meeting.

More information and the application is available on the city’s website at lawrenceks.org/pds/affordable-housing/trust-fund/. See more about previously approved affordable housing trust projects on the city’s dashboard.

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