Topeka, Kan. — Governor Laura Kelly announced an additional $50 million for affordable housing through a Governor’s Budget Amendment released on Tuesday.
“Kansas is seeing historic economic growth, and we have to ensure we have long-term, sustainable funding to provide affordable housing for our workforce,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “A shortage of quality, affordable housing is a barrier to economic growth and development throughout the state – and particularly in rural Kansas. To continue to attract business, and the workforce needed to fill jobs, we must develop more affordable housing opportunities throughout the state.”
The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation and the Office of Rural Prosperity in the Department of Commerce completed a comprehensive housing needs assessment in 2021. This was the first assessment done in nearly 30 years and addressed a shortage of data on existing housing resources, as well as current and projected needs. The Housing Needs Assessment indicated that the aging Kansas housing stock presents significant issues since the cost of renovation or new construction is higher than the market value.
The additional funding for affordable housing will establish the Rural Housing Revolving Loan Program to be administered by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation; this housing trust fund will be the first of its kind in Kansas, and it is supported by a broad coalition of rural Kansas stakeholders who understand the need for additional tools to increase investment in areas where market rates underestimate the strength and potential of rural Kansas to innovate and grow.
Funding is also included to build on the Governor’s initial investments in law enforcement agencies by adding $3.6 million for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, including an increase to starting pay and current salaries to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of KBI employees, and in recognition of the rigorous vetting process that KBI officers, forensic scientists, and professional staff must go through in order to be hired.
Find the Governor’s Budget Amendments here.