City leaves housing project unfinished after grant money runs out

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A federal grant was supposed to create four homes in the inner city to help kick-start revitalization, but there's a problem.

The money for the program ran out and the homes were never finished.

There are four homes for sale in the Blue Hills Neighborhood, but they’re not attracting any buyers. Construction stopped because the money from a Housing and Urban Development grant ran out.

“The only reason it bothers me is because as long as those houses are vacant, there’s illegal dumping going around. If they were occupied, there’d be no illegal dumping,” said Anthony Bolton, who has lived in the neighborhood for six years.

Bolton is concerned the project will never be finished. The city allocated $725,000 in federal funds to Blue Hills Community Services to build four houses. That was two years ago.

“There was a lot of work and then there was nothing,” said Bolton.

There’s an ongoing lawsuit for the unfinished job, so the city declined to talk with FOX 4, other than to say the homes are nearly complete and that it’s attempting to work with Blue Hills to complete the project. Neighbors say the money could’ve been used in other ways.

“My personal belief, they could’ve built more veteran houses,” said Bolton.

“I think it’s a waste of money. They could be using the money for something else instead of wasting it on houses they’re not going to finish,” said neighbor Lakeisha Ridge.

The houses are intended for buyers with low incomes and are listed at $125,000, but that’s not enough to drive a sale.

Blue Hills Community Services could not provide anyone to talk about this issue on Wednesday.