KC Council unanimously approves affordable housing minimum for apartments seeking incentives

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In foreground is new performing arts center; Bartle Hall is to left, Sprint Center is tto right, and Missouri River can be seen in background.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Council members signed off on legislation that Mayor Quinton Lucas described as years in the making: requiring a minimum percentage of affordable housing units in apartment developments seeking city incentives.

Members unanimously approved the ordinance Thursday afternoon, prompting a smattering of applause within the chamber.

The ordinance mandates that developers seeking incentives — such as tax abatements, redirections or bond issuances — for “primarily” multifamily projects set aside at least 20% of total units for affordable housing, effective April 8. The ordinance defines “primarily” as projects having at least 12 multifamily units.

Of that 20%, half must be for tenants with incomes up to 70% of the city’s median family income (MFI), with the other half reserved for tenants earning up to 30% MFI.

The city’s MFI for fiscal year 2020 was about $86,000, according to the latest federal American Community Survey data.

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