Kansas City considered for pilot public housing program

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  The Federal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) toured living complexes that provide public housing for seniors in KCMO Thursday morning.

Secretary Julian Castro visited two successful public housing projects on the west side of Kansas City to determine if the projects should be expanded or duplicated in other areas of the nation.

During his visit, Castro toured both the Villa Del Sol and Posada Del Sol communities. The two communities aim to keep seniors out of poverty.

During the tour, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver said he would like to use the federal senior citizen housing grant to convert vacant school buildings nearby into more senior housing to help boost low income neighborhoods.

"We are always willing to see how we can partner with communities to make things happen," Castro said. "We know there is a tremendous need out there. When we look at senior housing for instance, that's the fastest growing demographic in our country, is baby boomers who are turning 65, who are going to need a place that's affordable to live."

Castro says HUD's goal is to help eliminate economic inequality through strategic federal investments that create communities of opportunity. Castro says no American should be limited by their zip code.

Kansas City also may be considered for a pilot program where public housing has WI-FI and computers, so residents can learn to apply for jobs online.