Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes has called on the City of Kansas City, Missouri's housing partners to develop a plan for providing housing for victims of the hurricane along the Gulf Coast.
The housing partners, including the Missouri Housing Development Commission, Fannie Mae, the Home Builders Association, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Catholic Charities, the Kansas City Housing Authority, the Heartland Apartment Association, Socialserve.com, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, met at 1:30 p.m. today to identify available rental housing, both single family homes and apartment units, in the metropolitan area and to create an infrastructure for reaching out to the victims in the Gulf Coast area.
At a news conference at 3 p.m. today, the Kansas City Hurricane Katrina Housing Relief group announced its preliminary plans to execute this initiative. The plan designates the American Red Cross as the primary point of contact for displaced persons that relocate to Kansas City, Mo. The Red Cross will coordinate housing and social services needs of evacuees through area public housing authorities and the Salvation Army. Within the coming week, the Mayor’s Office and the Fannie Mae Kansas City Partnership Office will convene metro area public housing authorities to select and inspect as many as 250 rental units, including both single family homes and apartment units. Area businesses and individuals are encouraged to donate funds to the Salvation Army or to the American Red Cross to cover the rental cost and housing services for hurricane victims moving to Kansas City.
“I am confident that these organizations have the expertise and wherewithal to provide family and individual housing placements to as many as 250 of the victims of Hurricane Katrina,” Mayor Barnes said. “Most of us cannot fathom the devastation that has taken place along the Gulf Coast. It is clear to me that residents of that area need a place to live, maybe as long as a year," Mayor Barnes said. "We are working to make our local resources available to those who have lost everything in this disaster. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who are facing this horrendous time.”
Mayor Kay Barnes also is encouraging mayors of other major cities to provide at least 250 permanent housing units for evacuee in their respective cities.
Donovan Mouton, the mayor's director of Urban Affairs will lead this effort. For more information, Mouton can be reached at (816) 513-3513 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.