TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly has proclaimed April 11-15 as National Community Development Week in Kansas. This week will celebrate the critical value community development programs and resources bring to our state.
“Community development efforts are essential in supporting the Kansas economy, quality of life initiatives and growth of Kansas communities,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Our programs, partnerships, and support help build thriving communities and we are thrilled to celebrate community development success across our state.”
The Community Development Division at the Kansas Department of Commerce was reestablished by Governor Kelly in 2019. The division is dedicated to developing strong and vibrant communities across Kansas.
“Our Community Development team focuses on programs that create opportunities to expand, invest and bring businesses to Kansas,” said Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland. “Businesses and residents choose to put down roots in vibrant communities, with a high quality of life. By continuing to support community development efforts across our state, we can help set the stage for growth and prosperity that benefits Kansans for generations to come.”
The Community Development Division programs include:
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) –annual competitive grants distributed to cities and counties to improve communities through housing rehabilitation, infrastructure improvements and community facility upgrades. Between 2019 and 2022, over $52 million in funding was awarded to 160 communities. In addition, CDBG awarded over $18 million in COVID relief funds to 147 communities assisting 1,313 small businesses and retaining 5,300 jobs across the state.
- Kansas Main Street – program focused on the revitalization and preservation of downtown districts developed to enhance a community’s culture. Since 2019, Kansas Main Street has added 10 Designated communities to the program, bringing the total number of Designated Communities to 35. Kansas Main Street has provided nearly $650,000 in grant dollars to support building rehabilitation, upper-floor housing, connecting arts to downtown districts, and entrepreneurial development.
- Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) – program dedicated to promoting, supporting and expanding Kansas’ creative industries and enriching communities through arts and culture. Since 2019, 175 grants have been awarded to projects totaling $1,250,065. Additionally, KCAIC dispersed almost $1.9 million in COVID relief funding to 154 grantees to provide operational support during the pandemic.
- Community Service Tax Credit Program (CSP) – provides an opportunity for private, non-profit organizations and public health care entities to improve their ability to undertake major capital campaigns for projects involving children and family services, crime prevention, youth apprenticeship, youth technical training and health care. Since 2019, 68 non-profit organizations across 53 counties in Kansas have been awarded over $11 million in tax credits through CSP.
- Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZ) – provides student loan repayment for new residents moving to one of the 95 ROZ eligible counties. There are currently 92 counties participating in ROZ, allowing counties, cities, and employers to enhance their workforce and recruit new residents through sponsorships and student loan repayment assistance.
“National Community Development week celebrates the impact of community development resources, emphasizing the opportunities to invest in Kansas communities and contribute to the economic growth of our state,” said Community Development Division Director, Kayla Savage. “Community Development offers a range of programs and services for individuals and communities to improve infrastructure and housing, revitalize downtown corridors, enrich and enhance quality of life, and support economic development.”
Kansas communities are encouraged to celebrate National Community Development Week by sharing their local community development projects on social media.