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Building Real Estate Capacity in Ivanhoe

LISC Greater Kansas City works to build the capacity of community development corporations (CDCs) and other community-based organizations that serve as the backbone for our city’s community and economic development industry. Our CDCs do a lot for our community - from affordable housing development to minor home repair to community safety projects to youth programming, they are critical in sustaining places where we can live, work, learn, and play.

LISC makes long-term investments in our CDC partners so that they are financially sustainable, can expand and deepen their high-quality programs and resident engagement, and have the ability to increase their real estate production.

Ivanhoe Senior Cottages
Ivanhoe Senior Cottages

Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council is one of our long-time partners. By leveraging LISC’s grants and loans with other public funding sources, Ivanhoe launched its affordable housing program in 2015. Since then, the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council has produced 12 units of senior housing using low income housing tax credits, also known as LIHTC and 14 units of affordable, for-sale housing using HUD HOME funds, private investments and LISC loans.

The development of new housing would not have been possible without the assistance of the Fulson Housing Group, who Ivanhoe hired using LISC grant funds. Fulson’s expertise has been invaluable to Ivanhoe in its growth and transformation from a neighborhood association to a CDC in recent years. They provide Ivanhoe with critical technical assistance throughout their housing projects, including concept/cost estimation, predevelopment, project bidding, construction and property management. The application process for tax credits is extremely complicated and time-consuming. Fulson is also involved in this process, ensuring Ivanhoe’s ability to provide affordable housing for those who need it most.

This work has a very real impact on the residents of Ivanhoe. Kaci Williams is the proud owner of one of the Ivanhoe duplexes recently built by Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council. She explains the struggle before she purchased her home, “My rent went up every year. I’m a first-time homeowner. Trying to find something that fit my budget and my family life has been hard because it’s so expensive now. To find something that fit everything I needed and for it to be brand new was a steal.”  

As a resident in Ivanhoe’s senior cottages, Kathy Richardson reflects on her prior home. “Where I lived at before, it was a two bedroom town house, three floors. I had to go up and down three flights of steps to wash, to the kitchen to cook.” She says now of her new home in Ivanhoe, “One of my favorite things about having a home like this all on one level is that at my age I don’t have to worry about going up and down steps or slipping and falling. It’s very convenient.”

Alan Young is Ivanhoe’s Managing Director of Housing & Property Rehabilitation. Under his leadership, Ivanhoe has completed repairs on 34 homes over the past two years. A significant number of those served were seniors on very limited and fixed incomes. Ivanhoe’s rehabilitation program is an essential element in helping create a healthy and safe home where residents can remain. The rehabilitation program has expanded to include vacant single family homes, and Ivanhoe has recently started their first major rehab project. Once completed, the home will be sold to a low-income family or individual.

In February and March of 2018, a team from Ivanhoe and the Urban Neighborhood Initiative (UNI) assessed several Ivanhoe homes and identified the needs of residents on the block. Ms. Davis, a resident on the 3400 block of Park Avenue, was one of the first neighbors to interact with the team. Based on the needs identified in the assessment, Ivanhoe replaced the roof and gutters on her home. The project was made possible through funding support from UNI’s Vacant to Vibrant program. Ms. Davis also worked with Legal Aid to ensure the home she inherited from her parents had a clean title history. Since then, Ms. Davis has become more engaged with the neighborhood, attending neighborhood meetings and becoming more active with the association.

Over the past four years, the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council has steadily built internal knowledge and staff capacity, which has enabled them to craft a long-term neighborhood vision. This vision identifies ten projects that represents over 100 affordable/market-rate housing units and three sites for mixed-income, mixed-use development.

Ivanhoe, as well as our other CDCs, are key for creating and preserving affordable housing in Kansas City. By developing strong relationships with our CDCs, LISC works with residents and partners to forge resilient and inclusive communities that are great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families.
— Geoff Jolley, LISC Greater Kansas City Executive Director

About LISC’s support of local CDCs:

LISC’s primary source of grant funding for our community development partners is the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Capacity Building for Affordable Housing and Community Development Program, also known as the Section 4 program. HUD Section 4 funds support building the organizational and/or programmatic capacity of CDCs. For more on HUD Section 4, click here