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MHC Previews September Ground Breaking Ceremony and Housing Conference


McPHERSON, Kan. — On Thursday, the McPherson Housing Coalition, Inc. (MHC) invited the McPherson community to the Oak Harbor Cottages for the McPherson Chamber Connection.

MHC Executive Director Chris Goodson and Director of Support Services Karolyn Moore shared that they went to the Kansas Housing Conference in Overland Park on Wednesday and gave a 75 minute presentation about the cottages and entered the Show Your Service competition where they won out of the six finalists, receiving $2,000.

Moore and Goodson also shared about the two upcoming events for MHC in September.

There will be a Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Sutherland Estates on Sept. 27 at 4 p.m. at 300 S. Oak. The Sutherland Estates are housing developments that will consist of 12 small homes for low-income individuals and families.

Ulysses “Deke” Clayborn and Jose Davis from the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be sharing during the ceremony and those who haven’t already gotten to see a cottage and tour a Oak Harbor Emergency Shelter Cottage will have the opportunity.
The “No Place Like Home” 3rd Annual McPherson County Housing Conference will take place at the McPherson Community Building at 122 E. Marlin St., McPherson, Kan., on Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. McPherson County leaders, realtors, investors, and regional speakers will share about the state of the local housing market at various times throughout the day.

MHC ConferenceMHC Housing Conference

The cottages, located on Skanke and Oak street in McPherson have been built by group volunteers (mainly churches) and are named to reflect the those who built them. (Example: The Menno house named to represent the Mennonite church.

Inside the house, while it is still in the process of being constructed, church and other organization members who help build the cottages have the opportunity to write scriptures or encouraging messages on the beams and posts for the residents who will be living in the home even though they will eventually be covered up.

Moore said she likes to think that in the family’s time of need that the power of scripture helps them get through while they are staying in the house.

There is a food pantry for families in the programs at the Lighthouse Cottage, which you can drop off non-perishable foods at. In the emergency shelter, there are many blankets and coats stored as well. The cottages allow each family who lives in them to live independently in the small house for 90 days while being helped by the Housing Coalition. The family has to be Case managers work on an individual plan with the family, providing mental and health services, legal services and educational assistance by collaborating agencies.

MHC owns 5% of two low-income housing tax credit properties. One is 24 units in Moundridge and the other is 45 units in McPherson. There is one homeless unit in each complex. There are currently 10 units in the Oak Harbor Cottages and a non-congregate emergency shelter.

On top of the cottages and plans for future development, MHC has TBRA, a Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program designed to help eligible households with rent, security deposits, and utility deposits. Families can receive this assistance for up to 24 months. The monthly assistance MHC may pay cannot exceed the difference between a rent standard for the unit size and 30% of the family’s monthly adjusted income.

There is also an Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), which offers assistance to homeless or those at risk of being homeless. Through the grant, MHC manages three programs: Rapid Re-Housing, Homeless Prevention, and an Emergency Shelter. The families assisted in the program must agree to the case management while in the program. MHC can help families for up to two years, although they would like for families to be stabilized as soon as possible.

The Community Service Block Grant is a grant that allows MHC to pay for mental health counseling, physical exams, and legal assistance while families are in the Emergency Shelter component of the ESG program.

For more information, visit the McPherson Housing Coalition, Inc. website or go to their Facebook page for project updates on the cottages or the upcoming events.