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2000 Best Practice Awards

Best of the Best Winners: Kansas

Best Practice: Shorey Estates Subdivision—Infill Housing

City of Topeka Builds Low- to Moderate Single Family Homes

Topeka, Kansas. The city of Topeka, Kansas has successfully redeveloped a city-owned, vacant parcel of land that was once the site of 100 severely deteriorated public housing units. The land has been re-platted to support a new 24-unit single-family subdivision for low- to moderate-income families. A grant from the Capitol Federal Foundation will pay all but $500 of the buyers’ closing costs.

“The fact that we have redeveloped a former public housing site into single-family homes without the use of public housing funds is impressive,” says Kevin Rooney, real estate officer with Topeka Housing and

Photo of recipients receiving Best of the Best award
Kevin Rooney/John Johnston receiving Best of the Best award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)

Neighborhood Development. “We did it all on our own.”

The program includes a welfare-to-work initiative. Home construction is spearheaded by Goodwill Industries and Heartland Works, which provide skills training and comprehensive support services for the welfare-to-work participants who are being trained to fill the area’s shortage of skilled construction workers.

“This is a homeownership and welfare-to-work initiative combined,” says Rooney. “We are building homes and lives together for a better Topeka.”

The adjoining property owner, YMCA, has entered into an agreement with the city to provide free YMCA memberships with no application or processing fees to all future Shorey Estates low- to moderate-income occupants. The YMCA converted the dilapidated community center of the previous public-housing complex into a day care center for the children of low- to moderate-income families.

The subdivision is within a Neighborhood Revitalization Area (NRA). Homeowners may apply for a partial tax rebate within 60 days of receiving a building permit. The rebate is good for a 10-year period. Since commencing marketing efforts in July 1999, the city has nine homes either under contract or completed. Six homes have low-moderate income purchasers, and three purchasers are above low-moderate income. Six additional market rate buyers have been pre-approved, and three additional low-moderate income purchasers have pre-approval. Less than a year from project implementation, the subdivision is more than 75 percent completed or obligated.

Contact: Kevin Rooney, Phone: (785) 368-4484
Tracking Number: 627
Winning Category: Program (Community Planning and Development)


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Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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