City plan aims to bring better affordable housing

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo- A five-year funding plan, is aiming to provide Springfield with more affordable housing.

The plan came about after the city an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice, a requirement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to participate in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) Grant programs, according to a press release from the city.

Now, city leaders are asking for public feedback with a goal in mind to use nearly one million dollars worth of government grants. These grants would allow the city to give out loans that incentivize developers to revamp or rebuild worn down houses on the north side of Springfield.

The loan program has been in place for 30 years, but the city has expanded the area of potential development to include part of the Tom Watkins neighborhood as well as housing along the Grant Avenue Corridor Project.

Bob Jones, with the city, says about 60 -70 percent of the once 417 Rental Houses are located on the northside of Springfield.

He says that’s just one reason the city wants homes in that area to be upgraded and turned into a safe, useful property for those that need it.

“That area was identified because it is the lowest income area of town typically. It also has the oldest housing stock that needs most attention. Some of the other community needs that they have there are things like vacant houses, crime, that kind of thing, and by stabilizing that neighborhood with good housing and folks living there, it can help with that,” says Jones.

Jones says no matter if grants or private developers revamp the houses, the rent will still be affordable.

If you have any questions about the new plan, you can email Bob Jones at rjones@springfieldmo.gov.

If you want to review the new plan, you have until 5 p.m. on April 4th.

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