By COLE REIF
Great Bend Post
The Great Bend City Council approved the city to apply for a Moderate Income Housing grant on behalf of the Great Bend Economic Development. The grant funds would be used to build affordable housing in the Zarah Mall building downtown.
Great Bend Eco Devo President Sara Hayden said the second level of the Zarah
Mall has nine units that the owner wants to turn into livable space.
"We chose that building because it's the only project currently that is far enough along to be able to use this grant toward," said Hayden. "It would also have enough units to support the level of this grant."
The units would consist of both one and two-bedroom apartments with rent varying from $750 - $850 per month.
The Zarah Mall falls under the MyTown
initiative, with the majority owned by Sheryl Cheely. MyTown was created
several years ago and given a loan by the city to foster more downtown
businesses with incentives.
"This does not require any financial match from the city," said Hayden. "This is just funds that would be coming into our community. If not us, it's going to another community. We can apply for this grant year after year. As other projects come to light, we're still able to apply for those."
The Moderate Income Housing program through the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) provides grants to communities with populations fewer than 60,000 people. Loans or grants are limited to $400,000 and are released each summer. The Zarah Mall request is asking for $350,000.