Community Housing of Wyandotte County's (CHWC) mission is to stabilize, revitalize, and reinvest in Kansas City, Kansas neighborhoods through improved housing and other quality of life initiatives.
Kansas City Kansas/Wyandotte County is a diverse and vibrant community welcoming families with housing, employment, educational and economic opportunities making our neighborhoods a community where people are proud to live.
CHWC combines three proven strategies to create lasting change in our communities:
- New & Renovated Housing: We build and renovate high-quality homes to revitalize neighborhoods, increase investment in our community's vital infrastructure, and create lasting assets for families.
- Homeownership Promotion & Preservation: We enable families to achieve, preserve, and sustain their dream of homeownership by offering free and low-cost housing counseling, financial education, and purchase assistance.
- Community Building & Engagement: We bring neighbors together by making places where people can grow and eat healthy food, play, and create and enjoy art.
CHWC uses three programmatic strategies to accomplish our mission and vision: Housing & Real Estate Development; Homeownership and Financial Capacity Promotion, and Community Building & Engagement. These three initiatives work together to form healthy, resilient neighborhoods.
With our Housing & Real Estate Development, we build quality new homes and renovate important historic homes, improving the physical characteristics of the neighborhood. When necessary, we identify and demolish unfit properties that can’t be salvaged, before they become a blight upon the neighborhood. We also develop catalytic commercial properties to support neighborhood development.
Our homeownership and financial capacity building programs help educate low-moderate income families on homeownership and financial fitness. When our participants are ready to purchase a home, we can often provide closing costs and down-payment assistance. Finally, we work to improve and develop community assets that increase quality of life in each neighborhood, and create invested, engaged residents. Our goal is for neighborhoods to become a place where people are proud to live, work, and raise a family. CHWC is the only organization serving Wyandotte County that uses Community Building & Engagement programming in combination with housing and educational efforts. Our Community Building & Engagement programming focuses on social engagement and physical well being of our residents. For the last five years, we have developed projects that mobilizes residents to develop shared community assets and programming in their neighborhoods. By engaging residents in the development of these assets, we are creating the opportunity for social engagement and increasing neighborhood leadership and investment.
Catholic Housing of Wyandotte County was formed in April of 1998, lead by a planning committee that included Father Michael Hermes and Monsignor Tom Tank. Work began in the St. Joseph / St. Benedict neighborhood with 10 new homes on South 9th street.
Catholic Housing began building homes in Mt. Zion Estates, a historic Northeast neighborhood. Since 2000, CHWC has built over a dozen homes in this neighborhood. In 2017, CHWC was invited to build additional homes, scheduled to begin construction in 2018.
Work began in the St. Peters / Waterway neighborhood. Leveraging a 2001 partnership with HUD and working in close partnership with the Unified Government to acquire blighted structures and vacant lots, CHWC has constructed over 70 new homes and renovated many more.
Catholic Housing of Wyandotte County formed a strategic alliance with Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City, Kansas that resulted in the creation of Community Housing of Wyandotte County, or CHWC, in July 2002. CHWC became a proud member of the Neighborworks America network. CHWC began serving homeowners in Chelsea, Kensington, and Strawberry Hill.
CHWC began work in Strawberry Hill, building six new town homes Working closely with NeighborWorks. CHWC strengthened the homebuyer education initiative to further support families buying homes in the Kansas City, KS community.
CHWC relocated offices from a small home in Strawberry Hill into the Historic Fire Station No. 9 on 14th and Central in the Prescott neighborhood.
In partnership with KU's Studio 804, CHWC built a highly-efficient, affordable home as a demonstration project in the Prescott neighborhood.
CHWC was awarded tax credits to build new homes in the Bethany neighborhood, launching the House To Home program, a long term affordable lease-purchase program that created 20 brand new homes - the first new homes in Bethany in over 85 years.
CHWC began to revitalize Waterway Park, a dis-invested, sinking public park in the middle of the Waterway neighborhood. Over several years and In partnership with the Unified Government Parks and Recreation Department and other community organizations, CHWC helped install playground equipment, a half-mile track, picnic tables, and other improvements. The park now serves as a prized neighborhood-attraction and is used by families across the community.
CHWC acquired a dilapidated Strawberry Hill building and launched EPIC Clay Studio, which continues to help make arts accessible to all people in the community. Splitlog Farm was developed to improve health and accessibility to fresh produce for the neighborhood and adjacent elementary school, M.E. Pearson Elementary. The farm serves as a health and science education site for students at M.E. Pearson and provides fresh produce for the school cafeteria.
CHWC was awarded a second tax credit project. In partnership with Mesner Development Company, CHWC built 8 new homes in Riverview and 16 new homes in the bankrupt subdivision Meadowlark Valley, as part of the House To Home program. Since 2015, CHWC has built and sold 10 additional homes, with 20 more scheduled in 2018-2019.
Community Housing Financial was incorporated to manage CHWC's existing portfolio of minor home repair loans and to pave the way for the development of a new Community Development Financial Institution to better serve homeowners and home buyers In Kansas City, KS neighborhoods.
Cup on the Hill opened in the downtown business district as part of CHWC's Community Building and Engagement program.
CHWC formed a partnership with KU's DotteAgency, offering the program space in the EPIC arts building in exchange for community design collaboration. DotteAgency designed and constructed outdoor stage for EPIC Park and began working on a multi-purpose building at Splitlog Farm.
The sculpture garden at EPIC Park opened.
Splitlog Farm grew to include a hydroponic irrigation system.
CHWC was invited to help a neighboring rural community develop much needed senior housing in Valley Falls, KS.
Delaware Place opened in 2018, providing 14 families with high quality homes.
CHWC hired its first on-staff property manager.
Splitlog Berry Patch opened on an vacant lot across the street from the original Splitlog Farm.
CHWC partners with DTS to construct and operate arts entrepreneurship incubator in the EPIC arts sculpture garden.
CHWC embarks on total renovation of the EPIC Arts Center.
To encourage investment in historic KCK neighborhoods. for buyers of all income ranges, CHWC created the Dotte Options program , a lease-purchase program for buyers of all income ranges in Strawberry Hill, St. Peters, Prescott, and Westheight neighborhoods.
The program is poised to expand into more neighborhoods in 2019.
CHWC created Community Construction, a nonprofit construction company, to expand our new construction company as the demand for CHWC homes grows.
Since 2002, CHWC has built, renovated or repaired over 500 homes, educated thousands of families, generated over $90,000,000 of capital investment in Wyandotte County Neighborhoods, and touched the lives of countless residents and volunteers through our arts, urban agriculture, and other community engagement efforts.
We build market rate and affordable homes for sale and for rent, and operate a construction company, real estate brokerage, arts studio, community design center, and urban teaching farm.