New loan fund to start urban core projects

joint-meetA joint city council committee on Wednesday advanced city participation in a program to provide startup loans to urban core projects.

The loans would provide for things like architectural drawings, financial consultants and more that are needed to get conventional loans for projects.

The joint housing and neighborhoods committee endorsed the program and $500,000 in city money for it.

Final approval is expected today in the city council.

The city money is leverage for a fund that is to include $2 million from the Kauffman Foundation, $1 million from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, $250,000 from the Hall Family Foundation and possibly $250,000 from the Unified Government of Wyandotte County.

The city money would be used within Kansas City for the low interest loans to low and moderate income areas, loans that would be repaid to create a revolving fund.

Councilman Scott Wagner said, “We’ve been trying to accomplish something like this for years.”

Councilwoman Katheryn Shields objected to the wording because she feared people would use the money to demolish historic buildings.

She suggested specifying the loans could not be used for at all for demolition.

The group changed the wording to say it could not be used for demolishing historic structures in the city.

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