Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City (Habitat KC) is proud to announce the groundbreaking for Pathway at Heritage Park in Olathe, Kansas, set to take place on Monday, Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. (15885 S Black Bob Rd, Olathe, KS 66062). This event marks the beginning of an innovative project that will address the critical need for affordable homeownership in the Johnson County area.
“This is an exciting moment for our community,” stated Lindsay Hicks, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City. “With this project, we’re embarking on Habitat KC’s first pocket neighborhood development and utilizing the community land trust model. This model holds immense potential in shaping the future of our work and addressing the pressing need for affordable housing.”
Under the land trust model, Habitat KC retains ownership of the property, while the land is leased to the homebuyer. This approach enables Habitat KC to reduce the cost of homeownership by excluding the land’s value from the mortgage principal. If the homeowner chooses to sell the home, they will receive the equity they’ve built, along with a portion of the market appreciation. The remaining appreciated value stays with the home, guaranteeing affordability for the next homeowner.
The need for affordable housing in Johnson County is evident as housing costs continue to rise. According to the most recent Revaluation Report, the average selling price for a new home in the area is $678,000, while the average resale price is $473,000.
United Community Service of Johnson County estimates that 40% of renters and 20% of homeowners in Johnson County are housing cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income on housing. Additionally, approximately 45% of the local workforce commutes from other communities due to the lack of affordable housing.
Combined with the saving the land trust model creates, homebuyers will receive zero-interest loans from Habitat KC, and their mortgage payments will be capped at 30% of their monthly income, making homeownership an achievable dream for those who would otherwise be unable to enter the housing market.
The groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of a comprehensive project with a timeline that includes 12 months for infrastructure development and 18 to 24 months for construction.
This project is made possible with support from Bank of Blue Valley, a division of HTLF – the Presenting Sponsor of the development. “Our Bank is deeply invested in the communities we serve and honored to contribute to the creation of affordable housing in our community,” stated Chris Bannister, head of commercial, Bank of Blue Valley, a division of HTLF.