Topeka, Kan. — Governor Laura Kelly Thursday announced the launch of a new housing program for developers to help address the housing needs of communities across Kansas. The Startup Housing Opportunity Venture Loan (SHOVL) program provides funding to housing developers for expenses incurred before the closing of permanent financing for housing developments.

“A shortage of quality, affordable housing is a barrier to economic growth and development throughout the state – and particularly in rural Kansas,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Affordable housing is a vital component of recruiting and retaining workers, families, and entrepreneurs to help rural and urban Kansas thrive. We can’t capitalize on our record-breaking economic success if we don’t have affordable housing options for our workforce, and I’m pleased this new program will be another step in addressing this challenge.”

Economic development, including new business recruitment, business expansions and job retention, is highly dependent on available and adequate housing. To qualify for the SHOVL program, the housing developments must directly connect to past, current, or future economic development efforts. This link between housing and economic development may include:

“We remain committed to finding creative ways to assist developers in finding the funding they need to get projects started,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Housing is critical to economic development and we must continue to invest in housing in order to attract new businesses and new residents to the state.”

SHOVL is available for housing developers looking to construct housing developments in communities with populations of 10,000 or less. The program will offer a no-interest loan of up to $25,000 and require a 20% match. Loans are available to private developers, non-profit organizations, or the local government.

“Rural housing development often lacks something that can jump start the process. The SHOVL program will provide that spark,” Housing Specialist, Randy Speaker said.

More information on the SHOVL program is available here.