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First Suburbs Coalition KC – 04/21/2023

Posted by Bonnie Limbird


This morning we had an AWESOME meeting of the First Suburbs Coalition in Grandview, Missouri.

The mission of the First Suburbs Coalition (FSC) is to identify and enhance the unique qualities of first suburb communities – neighborhoods where the majority of the housing stock was built post WWII to 1970 – to maintain a high quality of life for all current residents and future generations by promoting preservation, reinvestment and revitalization.

The members of the FSC are:


I serve as the Kansas Chair of the FSC (alongside current Missouri Chair Damon Randolph, City of Grandview Alderman), and both Nickie Lee, Deputy City Administrator, and I were at today’s meeting. I found the speakers to be very engaging and the topics to be of special importance to our First Suburbs in the KC metro. Here is a recap from MARC with links!

Communities for All Ages Recognition Program

Westwood, KS was recognized for silver level achievement. Council President Jeff Harris and City Administrator Leslie Herring accepted on behalf of the city. Council President Harris shared that the city established a CFAA task force that included 14 members and special guests, and it was a great civic engagement process. Communities for All Ages Recognition Program

Regional Housing Partnership (RHP) Updates

Katie Killen, MARC Housing Program Manager, introduced the new logo that will be used to brand RHP work products (see the top of this post). Frank Lenk, MARC Director of Research Services, shared a report from the latest housing data story about the current gap in affordable units. His analysis explained “crowding out” by higher-income households that are consuming housing units that are affordable to lower income levels. There is not just a shortage of affordable units; many affordable units are not available to the lowest income earners. The next data story will explore the growing spatial mismatch between the location of jobs and the residences of workers needed to fill them.

A legend for the left side of the Sankey diagram below.
We can visualize what’s going in this table with a Sankey diagram that maps renter households by income into rental units affordable to each income.
In particular, note that there are 65,000 ELI renter households but only 36,000 units affordable to them.

What’s interesting to me about this data, and what I hope to learn more about as the Housing Data Hub continues digging into the 2020 census data, is if this supports the idea that communities can help relieve the supply demand at the lower income levels by building more units in the right locations at the moderate+ levels. That’s very much what would most most feasible in PV IMHO.

Sheila Roberts from Emphasys Software shared an update on, the official housing locator service for the Kansas City metro area. It was created to help people list and find safe, decent and affordable housing. The site is now open for property owners to begin listing their properties. A launch date has not been announced for public use.

Broadband Access and Digital Equity 

Representatives from the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth shared information about federal programs available to increase internet access, affordability and digital literacy.

The links below provide additional resources specific to Kansas.

I very much enjoy being involved with the First Suburbs Coalition, and I welcome your questions.

Have a great weekend!

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