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New Affordable Housing Development by Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City Coming to Olathe

January 11, 2024 in Community

Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City (Habitat KC) broke ground on Monday at Pathway at Heritage Park in Olathe, Kan. This event marks the beginning of a project that will address the need for affordable homeownership in the Johnson County area.

“This is an exciting moment for our community,” said Lindsay Hicks, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City. “With this project, we’re embarking on Habitat KC’s first pocket neighborhood development and utilizing the community land trust model. This model holds immense potential in shaping the future of our work and addressing the pressing need for affordable housing.”

Under the land trust model, Habitat KC retains ownership of the property, while the land is leased to the homebuyer. This approach enables Habitat KC to reduce the cost of homeownership by excluding the land’s value from the mortgage principal. If the homeowner chooses to sell the home, they will receive the equity they’ve built, along with a portion of the market appreciation. The remaining appreciated value stays with the home, guaranteeing affordability for the next homeowner. 

The need for affordable housing in Johnson County is evident as housing costs continue to rise. According to the most recent Revaluation Report, the average selling price for a new home in the area is $678,000, while the average resale price is $473,000. As a longtime partner of Habitat KC, KCRAR provided testimony to Olathe Planning and Zoning as well as to the Johnson County Commissioners in support of the project. KCRAR President Cindy Cunningham was present at the groundbreaking.

“We are proud to support the vision of Habitat for Humanity to live in a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” Cunningham said. “The Pathway to Heritage Park subdivision will forever change the lives of the people that live there, and as REALTORS®, we want to make sure that everyone—regardless of income level—has their chance at a piece of the American dream.”

United Community Service of Johnson County estimates that 40% of renters and 20% of homeowners in Johnson County are housing cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income on housing. Additionally, approximately 45% of the local workforce commutes from other communities due to the lack of affordable housing.  

Combined with the saving the land trust model creates, homebuyers will receive zero-interest loans from Habitat KC, and their mortgage payments will be capped at 30% of their monthly income, making homeownership an achievable dream for those who would otherwise be unable to enter the housing market.

The groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of a comprehensive project with a timeline that includes 12 months for infrastructure development and 18 to 24 months for construction.

Kim Winnett • January 13, 2024 at 4:49 am

What a great project! Hope to help volunteer in some way!


    Christy Forquer • January 17, 2024 at 7:19 pm

    I would like to be involved as well!


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