Presentation: United Community Services
Housing for All Toolkit
Julie Brewer, Executive Director of United Community Services, was present at this meeting to present the Housing for all Toolkit.
Background: UCS was awarded a grant in 2017 to identify the priority health issue for Johnson County, and through their first year or so of community conversations, they identified safe, stable community housing as that issue. From there, they continued the conversation with the question: Who can afford to live here? The average home sale price has gone up over 19%, but foundational job (teacher, firefighter, nurse, etc.) wages have not kept up with that housing cost increase.
Yes, these are based on single-income households, but it’s important to note that more than 1 in 3 households in JoCo are single-income households.
In 2020 20% of homeowners and 37% of renters in Johnson County were housing-cost burdened. That means difficult choices had to be made by those heads of households: housing vs. healthcare, healthy food vs. less-healthy food, etc.
Through the survey last year, PV residents themselves also identified multi-generational families, people with physical and/or mental disabilities, students, workers making below $16.00 per hour, and households needing transit services as underserved in PV.
The UCS Housing Task Force (in which I participated) last winter identified the following barriers for the above groups: ability to age in place (in neighborhood/community if not exact same house), restrictions and regulations (zoning), lack of diverse housing types, quality of existing housing stock, and rehabilitation costs.
With the Housing for all Toolkit, UCS has set five goals:
- Preserve and rehabilitate existing housing stock
- Reduce overall household expenses so housing is more affordable
- Increase the variety of housing product types, especially middle density
- Incentivize production of affordable and attainable housing stock by sharing risk, reducing gaps in the private market, and funding housing,
- Build affordable and attainable housing advocacy
A small ad hoc committee will be formed in Prairie Village to look at the housing for all toolkit and see which, if any, of these tools might work for PV to address these underserved areas. If you or someone you know may be interested in working on this committee, please let me know!
Inga Selders reported that all acts for JazzFest 2021 are under contract: SME Blue Knights, The Back Alley Brass Band, Eddie Moore & the Outer Circle, and the headliner, Adam Larson. They’ll also have food trucks from CoffeeCake KC, Taco Republic, ButterFluff Popcorn, Nikki G’s, and Taste of Brazil. New this year: there will be a History of Jazz and taste of 18th and Jazz exhibit/display!
- COVID update
- 50.1% of JoCo resident 12+ are fully vaxed; in PV it’s still about ~53%
- % positives have been spiking up.
- Most hospitalizations ARE still of UNvaccinated people.
- JoCo Health is recommending masks for students indoors who are not vaccinated.*
- Financial news:
- ARPA $1.6 million-ish sitting in special account approved by Council. Represents 50% of the ARPA funds.
- There will be regulations, but we’re not in an time crunch to make decisions.
- Police pension fund showed growth beyond projections
- Second quarter financial report: exceeding income projections and staying under expenses
- The Skate Park is nearing completion! Should be open before JazzFest (September 11th)
- The new LEED Platinum Public Works building should be opening soon as well. The solar panels were turned on this week. Watch for a public open house in October.
- JoCo Charter Commission – taking recommendations for changes/adds to the Home Rule Charter. Share those with Mayor Mikkelson or any commission member.
*Some of this is obviously now out of date since I’m a week behind in my recap. Suffice it to say things are not going in the right direction. 😢
Chief Steve Chick, CDF2
The second quarter Consolidated Fire District No. 2 report review shows that the fire district is healthy financially, and their various fund reserves (general, health, equipment) are also healthy. In 2020, the mill levy was 11.75, and they reduced it to 11.201 for the 2021 fiscal year. For 2022, they will be adding three firefighters (one per shift), which allows them to add an additional unit 24/7 at the 63rd & Mission facility to handle multiple back-to-back calls. But despite that, they are essentially remaining revenue neutral for 2022 (they’re covering the legislative bases put in place with SB13 this year by still having a hearing).
Chief Byron Roberson
The PVPD had their first Youth Citizens Academy graduation of 6 SME students tonight. I couldn’t find any pictures of the graduation on social media. Bummer.
Two hundred names have been submitted so far for the new K-9 unit, Chief’s favorite being ‘Cupcake’ submitted by a 7-year-old Prairie Village girl. 😊
Publishing the 2022 Budget
Procedural action to give permission to staff to set the hearing date:
- September 7, 2021
- Revenue neutral hearing
- Budget public hearing
- Note: 2022 will have a fund balance carryover of about $1.7 million from 2021 that we are allowed (encouraged?) to spend down. This fund balance carryover has been standard practice.
- We entertained a motion to reallocate $400,000 from personnel and contract services to the police pension fund. That motion failed 9-2 as no specifications were provided in the motion as to where exactly the cuts would be taken.
Statuary Budgetary Request
The Statuary Committee approved a recommendation for 10-11 new statuary/fountain covers in Prairie Village to protect our most significant statuary throughout PV. The funds for this expense were allocated several years ago and have only been slowly spent down on maintenance of statuary, so we’re making this investment now to protect these pieces for years to come. This recommendation was approved unanimously by City Council.
So that’s it for last week. Some things I’ve been up to (it’s been a CRAZY few weeks):
- Attended MARC‘s July First Suburb Coalition meeting featuring presentations about the Climate Action Plan, a preview of the Johnson County Housing for All Toolkit, and first-time homebuyer resources.
- Finally picked my girl up from sleepaway camp after 4 weeks away! I missed this face:
- Met with a Corinth Square representative about a possible new event with, and to support, PV Arts Council in 2022!
- Met with Mayor Mikkelson, staff, a fellow councilmember, and a planning commission member to discuss the next steps for housing attainability in PV, including that ad hoc committee I mentioned above
- Met with JCPRD about activating the gallery walls at Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse as part of the PV Arts Council exhibit space in 2022.
- Attended my first UCS Racial Equity in Cities focus group in preparation for our six workshops beginning in September
- Took my husband for Achilles surgery after a family reunion mishap 😏
- Attended a 3-hour beginners pottery wheel class at KC Clay Guild for some quality mother/daughter time with Abi… It’s been a long time since my ceramics class in college, and it’s a lot harder to throw a pot than I remembered!
- Sat in on a USGBC + Municipal Government Leadership Forum – (It wasn’t what I expected.)
- Met a new PV friend, and co-chair of the KC Parade of Hearts, to learn how PV can be involved in the 2022 event and secure a spot on the parade for Prairie Village. (If you’re interested in helping to sponsor, please contact me! We’re looking for multiple corporate sponsorships and/or very generous residents to help.)
- Coordinated installation of a new storage shed for PV Arts Council since we’ve outgrown all of the available storage at City Hall, and
- Met with an R.H. Johnson representative (new owners of the Meadowbrook Shopping Center at 95th and Nall) about an opportunity to select two new pieces of public art for their renovated complex.
Like I said, CRAZY few weeks! 😎
As of today, it looks like we’re probably going to be masked up for everyone’s safety again soon. I know I personally didn’t isolate in place and wear a mask anywhere I went for over a year, then get vaccinated as soon as I was eligible only to miss another Thanksgiving, Christmas, and NYE with my family and friends, but… here we are. On the cusp of doing it all over again.
I appreciate everyone who did all (or most) of these things, too, to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the most vulnerable among us, and I hope we get through this soon. 😢
If you’re still concerned about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, please read this article that includes how the vaccine was rolled out (seemingly) so quickly and this article on myths vs. facts, both from Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Please be well and have a great weekend.