MARCH 24, 2016 WAS A BIG DAY FOR THE URBAN CORE OF KANSAS CITY

Gregg Lombardi – Executive Director

The City Council passed a $1.5 billion budget that makes revitalization of the urban core more of a priority for the City than it has been for many years. The City will devote $10 million to demolishing blighted properties in the urban core.

A smaller item in the budget, but every bit as exciting, is new funding that will allow Legal Aid to hire two new attorneys and a paralegal who will be devoted to converting abandoned houses into good quality, rehabbed properties.

Using the Abandoned Housing Act (which our staff wrote), as well as other causes of action, Legal Aid has been working to get roughly 60 houses per year for many years. The new funding will allow our talented staff to work with our many community partners and the City to get roughly 100-110 properties rehabbed every year.

This work is focused on critical, blighted properties that are holding back neighborhood revitalization in transitional neighborhoods. So, when these houses are rehabbed, not only does it save a house, it often brings in investment in many other houses in the neighborhood. The result is increased tax revenue for the City, reduced crime, stronger neighborhoods, and, best of all, major improvement in the lives of lots of low income people.

If you have a minute to see the fantastic results that Michael Duffy, Jeff Williams, Jennifer Wieman Earles, Peter Hoffman, Becca McQuillen, Kayla Hogan, Brenda Romo and lots of fantastic volunteers are doing, click on the link to see our Before and After Picture Book. It’s pretty amazing.

–Gregg

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