For the third time in about four years, the city of McPherson has picked up a grant to help homeowners replace windows, roofs, siding and other home improvements for those who qualify.


Since 2016, the city has been able to make an investment of about $1 million in housing using similar grant funds.


“We’ve done rehab on 30 or 32 houses,” said Nick Gregory, city administrator for McPherson. “... The outside of house, once we have done it, is a fairly noticeable difference.”

The city qualified for grant funds in 2016, 2018 and again in 2020.


The 2020 grant will allow the city to rehabilitate 13 homes, an award for $300,000.


“This allows us to go into some homes and some neighborhoods that are in decline,” Gregory said. “We can do this rehab and work with some individuals who may not have the money to do it. This has been a great thing for the community.”


In this grant cycle the city will provide $72,710 in local matching funds.


Each grant is limited to a specific target area of the community, and houses selected must fall within size ranges and condition limits. Owners must meet income guidelines. The grant allows up to $25,000 per house for improvements to bring it up to federal housing standards.

Rentals are eligible, as long as tenants fall within income limits. The target area is between Avenue A and Avenue F, from Main to Ash Streets.


“Quality of life is key to economic development,” said David Toland, Kansas Secretary of Commerce. “This investment in critical infrastructure helps keep communities like McPherson competitive as they work to retain and recruit residents and businesses. Governor Kelly and I are proud to support projects in rural communities across our state.”


The CDBG program allows the Department of Commerce to distribute federal funds to Kansas cities and counties looking to improve their communities. CDBG funds are one of Commerce’s primary tools in supporting the state’s small, predominantly rural communities. Each community awarded has a population less than 50,000.


The city will be contacting those who filled out a “preapplication” to seek a full application. Once a project is selected, the work will be bid on by area contractors.


“We possibly will be able to award funds in the late June/early July time frame,” Gregory said. “There are a number of environmental clearances that need to be obtained before beginning work.”