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McPherson Housing Coalition Breaks Ground on Sutherland Estates


By Lucky Kidd


McPHERSON, Kan. — Ahead of Thursday’s McPherson County Housing Conference, the McPherson Housing Coalition along with local, state and federal officials took part in a ground-breaking Wednesday afternoon for MHC’s new Sutherland Estates project in the 300 block of South Oak.

MHC Executive Director Chris Goodson said unlike the Oak Harbor Cottages immediately to the south offering transitional housing, this is a permanent supportive housing project which will also provide a number of services.

“Let’s say someone needs help with child support or on a legal matter, if they need to go to the doctor or a dentist, if they need further education, if they need job training, if they need a job, anything that family needs to continue to be safely housed, we’re going to be able to give it to them,” Goodson said.

The project was able to move forward after just over a million dollars in funding was earmarked by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier this year. HUD Regional Administrator Ulysses “Deke” Clayburn said the project very much fits into their mission “to create strong, sustainable communities, and quality affordable homes for all.”

Clayburn said in describing the work of MHC, “When you look at the homes that people have created here, what the McPherson Housing Coalition has made for people, it’s more than just sticks, bricks and roofs. It has provided homes for people.”

Mayor Tom Brown outlined the support provided by the city and McPherson County for the project, which included securing the land for the project and the work the city’s Public Works Department has done on sewer improvements in the neighborhood.

He also praised Richard Miller from the city’s finance department, City Commissioners Gary Mehl and Larry Wiens and City Administrator Nick Gregory, who did a lot of the behind the scenes work on grants for housing projects.

Another speaker was Kansas Housing Resources Corporation Executive Director Ryan Vincent, who noted KHRC just wrapped up distribution of over $350 million in pandemic-related housing assistance. With that work complete, they are turning their focus to working with other federal, state and community partners to address housing issues.

“It takes partnerships and people working together. The past couple of years McPherson has been a model of success in so many ways,” Vincent told the gathering. “I love seeing the homes across the street. I love the stories they are telling. I love the churches, non-profits, and government working together for a purpose, and a purpose of good.”

The Sutherland Estates project will initially have seven homes, with space to construct another five as funding allows.