Saturday, December 01, 2018

Kansas City Saturday Standoff: Affordable Housing Debate City Hall Funding Talk



Great back & forth here from City Hall insiders on future funding for affordable housing.

Lots of great info and perspective from both sides this ongoing debate.

First, a call out on the tax cash from electric scooters . . .

Sharon Sanders Brooks - "Thank You Councilwoman Katheryn Shields for having had the boldness to introduce a resolution to provide funding for Affordable Housing out of a Kansas City, Missouri revenue source. Would YOU believe she had to fight to get these funds, approximately $300,000? Four KCMO councilmembers VOTED against it yesterday. The 4 who VOTED NO are : Fowler, Hall, Wagner and Justus . The City has granted millions of Tax Incentives for luxury housing in Downtown yet didn't want to give crumbs to Affordable Housing."

"One of the council members who spoke against the measure has previously stated his own family had been homeless at one point . At least that's what he said on the campaign trail ... How quickly some can forget . Feel FREE to SHARE."

The response from the current Mayor Pro Tem:

Scott Wagner - "I voted no because it is not good policy to earmark. I pointed out that if the Council wants money for affordable housing we have a budget process that allows for that. In my first comment I said if you start earmarking program income pretty soon it won't stop. People will want to divert funding for worthwhile programs, and whittle away our general fund by a thousand cuts. Within 15 minutes of that statement a Councilperson proposed an amendment to see what other new program income was out there, proving my point. As the Chair of Finance my responsibility is to push back against budgetary schemes that I think are problematic. Earmarking is one. i don't expect people to agree with my decision because of the subject, but if anyone thinks affordable housing is not a priority to me then I invite anyone to come to a housing committee meeting."

More great info from the former Council lady and current community leader:

Sharon Sanders Brooks - "KCMO spent $500,000 for the Open Spaces Festival and spent $200,000 for a freakin poorly attended Beauty Pageant but had a problems with allocating a mere $300,000 for housing assistance for the non wealthy, non-campaign contributing citizens of this City."

Developing . . .

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

SSB is 100% correct.

You either support affordable housing or you don't and the more fees for the silly scooters, the better.

JJ said...

Wagner talks a good game but he's objections based on earmarks aren't practical. City Hall has been running a similar shell game on KC for years and this resolution isn't the first example. Not by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

Were Caucasians represented at the beauty pageant or just the Swope Park corridor?

Anonymous said...

People will want to divert funding for worthwhile programs, and whittle away our general fund by a thousand cuts.


LOL as if they haven't been doing this, whatever "worthwhile programs" are for decades.

Anonymous said...

Do they mean funding for section 8 apt. Complex’s? Like the perfectly good ones they tore down a few years ago near downtown, that kind of affordable housing?

Anonymous said...

For folks that don't know it, earmarking is another word for pork or waste so Wagner is right about that. On the other hand,Brooks is right that if the city (Sly James) hadn't wasted a half million dollars on a festival that nobody gave a damn about, then we would have the $$$ for affordable housing. It's always easy to spend OPM (other people's Money).

Anonymous said...

12:11, you can support the idea of housing that is affordable by blue collar workers (or do you think it means something else?) without supporting the notion that the city should be using taxpayer money to provide it.

Anonymous said...

of course they will need that money to pay for slies airport

Anonymous said...

Not one stinking penny will go toward "affordable" housing. There will be a lot of talk-talk about it, and there will be task forces to "study" the issue, but NOTHING will happen if the City gets its' hands on the cash. Trust me.

Phil Cardarella said...

It is NOT POSSIBLE to build or repair low-income housing without some form of government subsidy. Hell, Three Light is getting $17 Million PLUS 100% Tax Abatement Funding (TIF) to build small apartments for the affluent! Only a handful of Councilmembers joined Shields to oppose that.

Any family making less than $50K/year is simply being priced out of Kansas City's downtown core -- and have few decent options this side of Grandview!