AHTCC’s State Spotlight series showcases how the Housing Credit impacts particular states—and how public-private partnerships made possible by the Housing Credit lead to truly exceptional affordable housing communities.
In Kansas, the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) has created or preserved 32,626 affordable rental homes, which have provided 75,610 low-income households a stable foundation to improve their own lives.
The development spurred by the Housing Credit in Kansas has supported 36,867 local jobs, generated $3.51 billion in local income and $1.38 billion in tax revenue, which can be invested back in local communities.
But the boon to Kansas’ economy is only a small piece of why the Housing Credit is so important to the Sunflower State, not to mention America as a whole.
The Housing Credit is Kansas’ and America’s primary tool for creating and preserving affordable rental housing for hardworking families, veterans, people with special needs, seniors, teachers, nurses, and first responders.
President Reagan signed it into law, and since then its 30-year history of success includes financing nearly 3 million affordable apartments, supporting roughly 95,000 jobs each year, mostly in small businesses, and bringing more than $100 billion in private capital to communities nationwide.
Through the Housing Credit, Kansas has been able to create developments like Wiley Plaza in Hutchinson, which included the renovation of the historic Wiley Building and the creation of 40 affordable apartments for individuals and families. Amenities of the elevator-equipped building include on-site management and a community room, fitness center, and computer center.
Built in 1913 and expanded twice in the 1930s, the eight-story building is adjacent to the historic Fox Theater in Hutchinson’s downtown historic district at the intersection of North Main Street and East First Avenue. The redeveloped property now comprises ground-floor and mezzanine retail space, five floors of affordable housing, two floors of market-rate apartments, a penthouse, and a multi-level parking garage.
WNC, a national investor in real estate and community development initiatives, provided $7.5 million in Housing Credit equity to fund the adaptive reuse of the building and creation of the affordable rentals. Wiley Plaza was re-developed by Manske & Associates, LLC and received additional financing from Historic Preservation Partners Inc., First National Bank, Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, and the City of Hutchinson.
The Housing Credit and Wiley Plaza represent what’s possible when government works with the private sector to accomplish goals set by local communities, Congress, and the president to create quality, much needed affordable housing and mixed-income neighborhoods.
Nationally, there are only 31 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income renter households (those that make 30 percent or less of their area median income), according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. That has resulted in a shortage of 7.2 million affordable homes just for those families alone. NLIHC puts Kansas’ affordable rental supply gap in the tens of thousands.
America and Kansas need more affordable housing, which is why a proven tool like the Housing Credit that makes efficient use of dwindling public dollars, creates jobs, spurs our economy, and provides people with quality affordable homes should be expanded.