Housing Committee Argues over Northland Representation

Johanna Pounds
Editorial Assistant
Northeast News

The Kansas City Housing Committee met Wednesday, Jan. 23 to discuss various agenda items. While several ordinances were listed, the committee focused attention on ordinance 190013, which helps determine a budget for the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).

Guadalupe Center of Kansas City came forward to give testimony in hope of being funded by the CDBG. The Guadalupe Center is the longest running “service agency for Latinos in the United States and has grown to be the heart of the Latino community within Kansas City,” said Beto Lopez, the COO.

The Guadalupe Center was one of many agencies that came forward in hopes of being recognized for funding. It hopes to start a program that would bring teachers from University of Central Missouri to live at the Villa Guadalupe Campus and work in the charter schools.

Quinton Lucas, 3rd District Councilman, took these testimonies to push forward discussion of the ordinance. Because there were several testimonies, Councilman Lucas suggested they cut funding requests from the Northland from $75,000 to $60,000, allowing that money to go to the many other agencies needing funding.

2nd District Councilwoman Teresa Loar felt that the Northland was being underrepresented in CDBG. The Grant program has over two million dollars in it, with only $60,000 going to the Northland.

“The Northland represents about 50% of the whole city, and yet we can’t even fund a whole $75,000 of what a service agency in the Northland is asking for? I’ve been quiet about it for a while, and I will no longer be quiet. It isn’t fair or right,” said the 2nd District Councilwoman.

The Government shutdown has lead to no official budget for the CDBG.  Because of this, the decision made was to look in other programs to further the budget for CDBG, as to properly represent the whole city.  All other Ordinances on the docket were pushed back until Wednesday Jan. 30, 2019.

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