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Nicole Taylor and her children stand on a wooded road.
Gray two-story house
The Taylor family home in Paola.

Louisburg-based loan officer Lauri Orscheln holds a fondness for all of her clients, but helping first-time buyers achieve the dream of homeownership occupies a special place in her heart. “Homeownership to me is one of the most important things, something we are so privileged to be able to have,” she said. “Every first-time customer that ever closes is incredibly grateful and getting a great start.”

One of those customers is Nicole Taylor, a Paola mom of five who moved her family into their forever home this February.

“I’m a single mom with five kids–four teens and a 6-year-old–so family life is crazy and hectic,” Taylor said. She stays busy as a social worker, placing children in need of care with loving relatives and keeping them out of the foster care system.

“I was married and had a daughter in 2001, got divorced shortly after, and became a foster parent to adopt so my daughter could grow up with a sibling,” Taylor said. “From there I ended up adopting four kids.” Taylor’s family includes her biological daughter, now 19, and a 14-year-old daughter who joined the family at age 3 and was adopted in 2012. In 2015 she adopted three siblings: a 16-year-old boy and 13- and 6-year-old girls.

“When I was doing foster care I ended up putting myself back through college and got my degree in 2018,” Taylor said. “During that time I lived with my parents and we all helped each other out—I worked full-time, and they watched the kids while I was in night school. After graduation, I rebuilt my credit and got things situated so it could be my kids and me.”

Once Taylor started looking for a home she connected with Orscheln and learned about Kansas Housing’s First Time Homebuyer (FTHB) Program, an initiative that helps eligible buyers purchase their first home by providing down payment assistance. To qualify, applicants must be first-time homebuyers or not have owned a home in three years and have a median income at or below 80 percent of their county or metro area. Homebuyers must make an investment of 2 percent but no more than 10 percent of the sale price from their own funds. The program allows participants to apply for a zero percent interest loan in the amount of 15-20 percent of the home’s purchase price. The loan is forgiven if the buyer remains in the home for 10 years.

“I know it sounds too good to be true, but it really isn’t,” Orscheln said of the program. “First-timers can easily make that monthly payment, but when you’re trying to scrape together a down payment and all the first payments, that’s very hard.”

Orscheln has worked with the FTHB program for more than a decade, shepherding at least 10-12 Kansas buyers through the program each year. Her typical customers are young families just starting out, or individuals ready to embark on solo homeownership. “If they can afford a $100,000 loan payment and you can expand that to a $115,000 house, you can give them such a better home,” she said. “It’s phenomenal the difference that can make in the quality of home they can buy.”

Taylor agrees. “The program is excellent because you can get a little more house for your money,” she said.

She found the right home for her family last July, learned about the FTHB program and made an offer that fall, and finally closed and settled in this February. “The kids like it, they’re happy here,” Taylor said. “Before we lived five miles out in the country. We were constantly running back and forth four to five times a day for activities. Now we’re in the middle of town, kids can walk to dance class, and we always have random teens stopping by.”

For Taylor, the program is about more than just the physical space she can provide for her children. It’s about the example she sets. “My mom has talked about how she has raised a strong, independent woman,” she said. “I’m out here buying a house on my own, just me. My kids think it’s great. I’m trying to be a good role model, someone for them to look up to. No matter what you have going on, you can do this. Anything’s possible.”

For Orscheln, the value of the program ripples beyond the homebuyers themselves to benefit the entire community.

“I think homeownership in general just betters every town,” Orscheln said. “When people own their place they have pride in ownership, they make it look good, they spend money on it. It’s the core value for making communities better.”

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Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) is a self-supporting, nonprofit, public corporation committed to helping Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the primary administrator of federal housing programs for the state of Kansas.

To learn more about Kansas Housing’s First Time Homebuyer Program, visit our website. Homes in Johnson County, Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, and Wichita are ineligible for KHRC’s First Time Homebuyer Program. These areas administer their own federal HOME funds, which may or may not be used for homeownership assistance.

 

 

 

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Dear friends, partners, and colleagues,

Recent events, from the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color, to the death of Black citizens at the hands of law enforcement, to the resulting public outcry and unrest, are painful reminders that a legacy of segregation, discrimination, and racism is still deeply embedded in the communities where we live, work, and serve. In this moment of national reckoning, we know we need to focus not just on how these injustices make us feel, but what we can do to change them.

A year ago, our team embarked on a soul-searching effort to better define who we are, what we do, and why our work is important. Part of that process involved identifying the core values that we strive to uphold each day, and that we turn to in these moments of crisis and uncertainty:

  • Thorough: We are focused on a long-term solution over a quick fix.
  • Transparent: Our work is behind the scenes, but open to all.
  • Nimble: Needs and goals change. So do we.
  • Collaborative: The challenges we face are too big to face alone.
  • Compassionate: The dignity and worth of those we serve influence every decision.

These values were the guiding principles used in crafting our team’s mission: We help Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. Embedded in these words is our conviction that all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or familial status, deserve the safety, security, and dignity of home.

Beyond defining our values and mission, our efforts included tangible changes to ensure that our work is transparent and that our services are accessible to the Kansans who need them most:

  • We changed our outreach strategy, inviting more partnership, more collaboration, and more public engagement.
  • We developed a Code of Ethics to guide our work, established a confidential process for stakeholders and community members to report potential wrongdoing, and appointed an Ethics Officer to handle concerns.
  • We revamped our Diversity and Inclusion Committee and committed to welcoming the team’s guidance as we explore staff training and development opportunities, examine our recruitment practices, and reflect on how we can better administer our programs with integrity, equity, and compassion.

We’re proud of the efforts we’ve undertaken so far, but we know they’re not enough. This moment in our nation’s history illustrates that we all need to do more to dismantle the traditions and institutions that privilege some while disadvantaging others.

Our nation’s housing history is scarred by a legacy of racism. Much of the inequality we witness today can be traced, in part, to discriminatory housing practices. At the same time, we also recognize that expanding access to home and crafting equitable housing programs and policies can provide valuable opportunities to address historic injustices and correct course. In fact, similar unrest in response to discrimination in the 1960s led to the creation of some of the first state housing agencies. Promoting affordable and equitable housing opportunities has been and remains a catalyst for healing. As we look ahead, we’re committed to seeking diverse perspectives in drafting our guiding policies and programs, to collaborating with communities that have historically been left behind, and to administering our programs with a goal of helping to close the opportunity gap, not widen it.

Moments like this demand that we pause, reflect, and commit to doing better. We’re reminded that the landmark Fair Housing Act, which guides our work today, was passed during a dark period in our country’s struggle for equality and civil rights, following the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Advocates, activists, and leaders banded together to ensure that Dr. King’s legacy lived on, even in the midst of unspeakable grief and sadness. Fifty-two years later, we know that work is not finished, and we remain committed to that vision. Our work to unlock home for Kansans is more important than ever, and we pledge to continue it.

Ryan Vincent
Executive Director

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Nine Kansas communities will receive a collective 263 additional housing units, thanks to funds awarded through the state’s competitive housing development application process. The planned initiatives include new and rehabilitated homes in communities ranging from Great Bend to Gardner, Hays to Hutchinson. Housing designed for families represent the majority of planned units (207), while the remaining 56 will be designated for seniors.

“A lack of quality, affordable housing is one of our state’s biggest barriers to growth and prosperity,” Ryan Vincent, Executive Director of Kansas Housing, said. “Each of these 263 homes brings us a step closer to ensuring that all Kansans have access to the safe, affordable, quality housing they need.”

The funding, made available through the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, the federal HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME), and the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), provides incentives to developers, nonprofit organizations, and communities that commit to developing quality, affordable housing. LIHTC incentives totaling $2.9 million represent the majority of this round’s funding. Offered annually for a 10-year term, the awards represent a total of $29 million in tax credits over the course of the next decade to support affordable housing across the state.

Complete award details are available online.

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Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) is a self-supporting, nonprofit, public corporation committed to helping Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the primary administrator of federal housing programs for the state of Kansas.

Elderly man's hand rests on the arm of his couch, next to glasses

From the Office of the Governor:

Governor Kelly on Tuesday announced Executive Order #20-06 to temporarily prohibit evictions and foreclosures across the state in an effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

Due to negative economic impacts of COVID-19, Governor Kelly and her administration decided to take steps to support Kansans who may miss mortgage or rent payments as a result of lost wages and other income.

“We understand that this pandemic is creating unprecedented challenges for people across the state,” Kelly said. “Kansas families need our support, and my administration is committed to doing everything it can to make sure Kansans can stay in their homes and businesses. It’s a necessary step to further protect Kansans’ health and safety.”

The Executive Order temporarily prohibits all financial institutions operating in Kansas from initiating any mortgage foreclosure efforts or judicial proceedings, and any commercial or residential eviction efforts or judicial proceedings until May 1, 2020.

This order comes after a State of Disaster Emergency for the State of Kansas was proclaimed by Kelly on March 12, 2020.

To read Executive Order #20-06, click here. 

For more information on how KHRC is responding to the coronavirus outbreak, please visit our website.

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Alan DeinesHays banking expert Alan Deines will join the Kansas Development Finance Authority (KDFA) and Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) boards of directors, KDFA president Rebecca Floyd announced. Deines was appointed by Governor Laura Kelly and confirmed by the Kansas Senate in January.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Alan to the KDFA and KHRC boards,” Floyd said. “His extensive finance and banking background will be an asset as our team works to expand economic growth and prosperity across the state.”

Deines brings four decades of experience to his leadership role, having worked with hundreds of banks from Wyoming to Illinois and South Dakota to Oklahoma. He currently serves as the first director of the Robbins Banking Institute at Fort Hays State University, where he shapes and implements the Institute’s curriculum and teaches a variety of banking courses.

Prior to his banking experience, Deines practiced law in Russell, eventually becoming a trust officer and house counsel for First National Bank, Goodland. He served as president of a consulting company that helped financial institutions address regulatory problems, management challenges, mergers and acquisitions, and technology issues. His work took him to Siberia and eastern Russia, where he advised on financial issues in the midst of Russia’s economic collapse in the 1990s, and later to the Republic of Georgia, Yemen, and Iraq. He holds degrees from Fort Hays State University, Washburn University School of Law, and Northwestern University.

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Kansas Development Finance Authority is a statewide, multipurpose finance corporation that works with the state and other public and private entities to identify and structure efficient finance transactions.

Kansas Housing Resources Corporation is a self-supporting, nonprofit, public corporation committed to helping Kansans access the safe, affordable housing they need and the dignity they deserve. KHRC serves as the primary administrator of federal housing programs for the state of Kansas and is governed by the KDFA board of directors.

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The 2021 Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) application deadline closed on February 7, 2020. KHRC received 26 applications for a total of $13.9 million in LIHTC funding requested.

Some applications also included requests for Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and HOME Rental Development funding. KHRC received requests for almost $9 million in HTF funds, with approximately $2.44 million available. HOME funds requested totaled nearly $4.3 million, with up to $3 million available. KHRC reserves the right to adjust requested HOME and HTF subsidy amounts based on available funding, evaluation of the subsidy amount needed for a project to be viable, and our assessment of best mix of funding sources.

Review application details at the link below. Funding decisions will be announced by May 15, 2020. To learn more about KHRC’s funding criteria, review the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, Housing Trust Fund, and HOME Rental Development program pages.

2021 LIHTC Applications Received

KHRC in the News

Unlocking home: Addressing housing needs across Kansas – Kansas Government Journal – April 2020

Audit points to shortcomings of homebuyer aid programs in Kansas – Topeka Capital-Journal – February 2, 2020

State grant funds new homes in Greensburg – Kiowa County Signal – January 22, 2020

It’s Your Business – Topeka Capital-Journal – January 19, 2020

Senior housing growing – Ark Valley – The News – December 19, 2019

Groundbreaking for affordable housing in Valley Center – KAKE News – December 17, 2019

Construction of behavioral health campus set to begin, but price tag for Douglas County may grow – Lawrence Journal-World – November 10, 2019

Eastridge Villas: Senior housing project was a cooperative effort – The Scott County Record – October 24, 2019

Moderate Income Housing Program – Kansas Government Journal – August/September 2019

A New Era – Affordable Housing News – Summer 2019

First Time Homebuyer Program paves way for family move – Ellsworth County Independent – Reporter – June 13, 2019

Rare downtown housing for Kansas City, KS – KSNT – June 10, 2019

Residents Of Kansas City, Kansas, Are Set To Get New Downtown Housing For The First Time In 30 Years – June 8, 2019

The Boulevard Lofts 30 years in the waiting – KCUR 89.3 – June 8, 2019

Weatherization assistance available to low income households – The Hutchinson News – October 22, 2018

Leavenworth housing agency honored – The Leaven – October 12, 2018

Delaware Place apartments dedicated – The Vindicator, Valley Falls – July 19, 2018

Right at home – Salina Journal – June 26, 2018

Developers get green light for Lee lofts – Salina Journal – May 16, 2018 

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Income Guidelines

Household Size Maximum Income for Weatherization (200% of FPL)
1  $  25,520
2  $  34,480
3  $  43,440
4  $  52,400
5  $  61,360
6  $  70,320
7  $  79,280
8  $  88,240
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