Missouri housing summit to address local needs

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 4:36 AM CDT
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HANNIBAL (WGEM) - Local advocates say housing is a concern across Northeast Missouri.

Northeast Community Action Corporation will hold a meeting Thursday with representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, local officials, and regional organizations to address the problems they see.

NECAC Deputy Director for Housing and Development Carla Potts said buyers in Northeast Missouri can’t afford to buy a home, even if they have aid money or vouchers. She said they even struggle to find available affordable housing.

“We have people that have certificates of eligibility from USDA to buy a home and can’t find anything in their price range, we have people with rental vouchers who can’t find places to rent, we have an aging housing stock and so that means there’s a lot of need for rehabbing existing housing,” Potts said.

She said they do offer some home rehabilitation for home owners. However, there isn’t enough money to rehabilitate abandoned or vacant properties. Potts said she hopes this summit can help them find solutions and partnerships to address the issue by combining resources of private, state, and local groups. She said finding ways to have money to rehabilitate those old buildings would be great.

Potts said seniors face a number of challenges in regards to housing. She said there isn’t enough senior housing available and waitlists are long. Seniors also might be forced to move out of their houses due to age or an inability to make repairs.

They are also providing an update on the St. Elizabeth project which would turn the vacant hospital into senior and family housing.

“We’re in the process now of putting in an application to the Missouri Housing Development Commission for sixty senior units at the old St. Elizabeth’s and then building six single family homes on donated lots in that same general area,” Potts said.

She said the grant is worth about $13 million. Potts said they have $2.5 million earmarked for now from the state, but the governor still has to sign off on it for them to get those funds.

The housing summit is Thursday in the Rialto Banquet Hall, 601 Broadway in Hannibal from 8:30 a.m. to noon. All are welcome to attend.

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