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before & after 2014

How collaboration among the City of Kansas City, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, neighborhood organizations and others is making Kansas City’s urban core a better place to live


Before and After 2014 How collaboration among the City of Kansas City, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, neighborhood organizations and others is making Kansas City’s urban core a better place to live


Introduction For over twenty years Legal Aid of Western Missouri has represented Kansas City, Missouri neighborhood organizations in helping them to acquire vacant, abandoned and blighted properties so they can have the properties rehabbed into good quality, affordable housing. Legal Aid works in close collaboration with Kansas City’s Neighborhood and Housing Services Department and numerous community nonprofit groups to make sure that the work has the greatest possible positive impact on Kansas City’s urban core. The collaboration results not only in reduction of blight and crime, but also increased tax revenue and the stimulation of urban core investment. Most importantly, it greatly improves the quality of life for Kansas Citians living in the urban core. This book shows some of the success stories that the collaboration between the City, Legal Aid, neighborhood associations, private developers and other community partners has achieved over the past few years, mostly in 2013-14. Financial support for Legal Aid’s Abandoned Housing Project work comes primarily from the City of Kansas City. Legal

Aid and its neighborhood organization clients are grateful for the City’s support for the project. Other funding partners of Legal Aid’s community development work include the Hall Family Foundation, the H & R Block Foundation, The W.J. Brace Charitable Trust (administered by Bank of America), the Missouri Bar Association, the Legal Services Corporation, the Missouri Lawyer Trust Account Foundation, as well as other private donors—to all of whom Legal Aid is grateful. Legal Aid of Western Missouri Community Economic Development Unit Staff Michael Duffy, Managing Attorney Jeff Williams, Staff Attorney Peter Hoffman, Staff Attorney Jennifer Wieman Earles, Staff Attorney Rachel Hogan, Paralegal Yolanda Hernandez, Administrative Assistant January 2015


Homes Pictured in this Book Span the City North to South


Blue Valley

1200 Drury The owner was unwilling to sell the vacant and dilapidated home, despite her residing in a nursing home and lacking the means to maintain it. Following a lawsuit by Legal Aid on behalf of the Blue Valley Neighborhood Association, the case was settled. The owner sold the home to a family who rehabilitated the home and is now living in it.

1200 drury before

1200 drury after


1518 Poplar before

1518 poplar after


East 23rd St. PAC

1518 Poplar Foreclosed by JPMorgan Chase in 2012, which sold to Go Invest Wisely, a Utah investor. Go Invest Wisely allowed the property to become vacant, tax delinquent and blighted. Legal Aid filed suit on behalf of East 23rd St. PAC Neighborhood Association and gained control of the home. As a result of the litigation, the property has been fully restored by a local rehabber. The rehabber has paid $2,416 in delinquent taxes on the property, which is now occupied.


Winwood-Sunnybrook

3735 NE 37th Street This house had been designated a dangerous building near the Winwood-Sunnybrook neighborhood. On behalf of Northland Neighborhoods Inc., Legal Aid filed an Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit which led to a transfer to a new owner who rehabbed the home. It is now occupied.

3735 ne 37th street before


3735 ne 37th street after


Blue Hills

2402 E 55th Street The owner-investor of this vacant house had allowed it to become blighted and tax delinquent. Legal Aid on behalf of the Blue Hills Neighborhood Association filed an Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit, gaining a court order for temporary possession. The case was settled before trial when the owner agreed to sell the home to a neighborhood-contracted rehabber. The home was rehabbed in late 2014 and is now occupied by tenants. 2402 East 55th street before


2402 East 55th street after


Chaumiere

4006 N Kansas Ave Legal Aid filed an Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit against this property facing tax foreclosure in the Chaumere neighborhood. Legal Aid negotiated a purchase from the heirs, then Northland Neighborhoods, Inc. paid the delinquent taxes and engaged a rehabber who repaired the home.

4006 n kansas ave before

4006 n kansas ave after


Ruskin Heights

10904 Newton This vacant, blighted home had a severe black mold problem. Legal Aid acquired possession on behalf of the Ruskin Heights H.A. and canceled a dormant lender lien through an Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit, asked the City to waive a water lien, and worked with a local, minority-owned rehabber to find a mold abatement specialist to restore the home, which is now occupied by a tenant. 10904 Newton before

10904 Newton after


blue hills

1705 E 55th Street This vacant, blighted home was acquired through an Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit Legal Aid filed on behalf of the Blue Hills Neighborhood Association. The developer was the owner of an adjacent daycare and her contractor was a minority builders’ cooperative. A family of a child who attends the daycare has agreed to lease the property.

1705 e 55th street before


1705 e 55th street after


Washington Wheatley

1860 Agnes

The owner-occupant died and his heirs did nothing with the home, allowing it to become blighted. Legal Aid filed an Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit on behalf of Washington Wheatley Neighborhood Improvement Association. Rehabilitation is in process, and nearly complete. It will soon be rented.

1860 agnes before


1860 agnes after


3527 brooklyn before

3527 brooklyn after


ivanhoe

3527 Brooklyn On behalf of the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council Legal Aid secured a lender lien release, and filed a lawsuit against the absentee owner to gain title. The case was settled when the owner donated the home to the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council. Ivanhoe contracted with a rehabber who has completed the rehab and is seeking to sell the property to an owner-occupant. Legal Aid is assisting Ivanhoe N.C. and a developer on multiple properties on this block.


vineyard

5211 E 40th Street Legal Aid represented a local nonprofit housing corporation to acquire this abandoned house, which is located, in the Vineyard Neighborhood. As a result of Legal Aid’s litigation against the deceased owners and known heirs, the nonprofit was able to obtain possession of the property and to rehab and sell it to an owner occupant in 2006.

5211 E 40th street before


5211 E 40th street after


49/63

5036 Lydia

5036 lydia before

This house is in the Troostwood area of the 49/63 neighborhood. Before Legal Aid got involved, it had been vacant for more than 20 years and the City had designated it a dangerous building. Legal Aid filed an Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit against this and three other houses in the neighborhood owned by the same individual on behalf of 49/63 Neighborhood Coalition. The case was part of a coordinated effort on this block, substantially restoring the entire block to good health. The house was rehabbed in 2013 by a successor in interest as the result of Legal Aid’s lawsuit against the property owner.


5036 lydia after


oak park

4119 Chestnut

4119 chestnut before

After City code enforcement was unable to secure a favorable outcome, code inspectors referred this case to Legal Aid. On behalf of the Oak Park Neighborhood Association, Legal Aid filed an Abandoned Housing Act case against the absentee owner of this house. The Court granted possession, and the neighborhood association contracted with a local, minority-controlled rehabber to rehab the home, which was completed this past summer. The house is now listed for sale to an owner-occupant.


4119 chestnut after


Marlborough

8408 Park Legal Aid filed an Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit on behalf of a small nonprofit corporation. As a result of Legal Aid’s litigation the nonprofit was able to secure control of the property and contract to have it rehabbed. It is now occupied by a military Veteran with three young children. Legal Aid has brought four Abandoned Housing Act cases on this block. As a result, three have been rehabbed and the fourth is still being litigated. 8408 park before


8408 park after


49/63

5008 paseo This property in the Troostwood area of the 49/63 neighborhood was long vacant and declared a dangerous building by the City. It was rehabbed by a successor in interest after Legal Aid filed an Abandoned Housing Act case in the name of a small nonprofit.

5008 paseo before


5008 Paseo after


Ruskin

11418 oakland Legal Aid helped the Ruskin Homes Association foreclose on a Homes Association lien for unpaid dues, after the home had become vacant for over three years, blighted and tax delinquent. The Homes Association conveyed title to a rehabber who agreed to repair it. The rehabber then rented the home to a tenant for two years, then in 2013 sold it to an owner-occupant.

11418 oakland before


11418 oakland after


blue hills

5256 Brookwood Legal Aid filed suit against the owner of this vacant and blighted property that the City had had to board up. As a result of the litigation the owner donated the property to Blue Hills Neighborhood Association. Blue Hills contracted with a local, minority-controlled nonprofit, which completed the rehab of the home in late 2014. It is now occupied by a tenant.

5256 brookwood before


5256 brookwood after


Seven Oaks

Timbercreek Apts

timbercreek apts before

Swope Community Builders had difficulty renting an adjacent apartment building due to this abandoned, junk-strewn 115 unit apartment complex. Legal Aid and the Polsinelli law firm acting pro bono filed an Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit against the California owners, who eventually settled the case by selling to Swope for a nominal price. This allowed Swope to rebuild the site in 2013 for tenants with physical, emotional, or mental health impairments. A large number of the tenants are Veterans receiving treatment at the VA Hospital next door.


timbercreek apts after


Ruskin Heights

7811 Ruskin Way This house in Ruskin Heights was rehabbed by a successor in interest in 2013 after Legal Aid filed an Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit on behalf of Ruskin Heights Homes Association. Prior to Legal Aid’s litigation, the house had been declared a dangerous building. It is now rehabbed and occupied.

7811 ruskin way before


7811 ruskin way after


manheim

3929 Manheim Legal Aid represented Neighborhood Housing Services in a contested Abandoned Housing Act lawsuit, securing a court order allowing demolition of this house which was severely blighted and vacant for a decade. Removal of the blighted house led directly to the renovation of the adjacent, now occupied home.

3929 manheim before


3929 manheim after (vacant lot)


blue valley

1702 Bennington The owner died and no heirs probated the estate. The house became an unsecured, open-entry property, and subsequently experienced a fire. Legal Aid filed an affidavit of heirship for the five surviving heirs, who agreed to quit claim their interests to a local CDC, which then sold the home to an owner-occupant who rehabilitated it. It is now occupied and an asset to the Blue Valley neighborhood. 1702 bennington before


1702 bennington after


Central Office 1125 Grand Blvd, Ste 1900 Kansas City, MO 64106 816-474-6750

Economic Development unit 920 Southwest Blvd Kansas City, MO 64108 816-474-9868

Before & after 2014  

How collaboration among the City of Kansas City, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, neighborhood organizations and others is making Kansas City’...

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