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Valley Falls Celebrates Opening of Delaware Place

KHRC officials gathered with community members and partners in Valley Falls last week to mark the opening of Delaware Place, a housing development for seniors and families.

The complex of seven duplexes was developed in partnership with Community Housing of Wyandotte County (CHWC) and Mesner Development. Twelve of the units are designated as low-income senior housing, while two are designated as family housing.

The development was funded in part through Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Moderate Income Housing funds, as well as HOME funds awarded to CHWC through the Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) set-aside program.

Denise Streeter, Valley Falls City Administrator, said the project was successful thanks to close collaboration with community members and partners. The city council’s economic development committee, comprised of a cross-section of Valley Falls residents, identified the need for more affordable senior and family housing in this rural community. Committee member Donny Smith brought together his contacts at CHWC and Mesner Development to bring the project to fruition.

“The community has been very supportive of this development,” Streeter said. “I feel everyone can see the benefit it has brought for future development.” 

CHWC Community Manager Tawnya Martinez said the development opened in February, and the community responded enthusiastically. All units are currently filled or spoken for.

Evelyn Glissman, a retired 29-year veteran of the local school district, was one of the complex’s first residents. The opening of Delaware Place afforded her the opportunity to move back to her hometown and live near family again. She notes the spacious, accessible layout, bright and efficient design, brand new appliances, and friendly community atmosphere as the best features of her new home. “Anybody will help anybody,” she said of her neighbors.  

Brennan Crawford, CHWC Executive Director, said this was the first development the organization had pursued outside of Wyandotte County, but the community’s engaged and enthusiastic approach made it the perfect opportunity to venture to a new area.

Developer Cliff Mesner agrees. “Kansans find a way to do things in smaller towns,” he said. “It’s one of the things Kansas does so well.”

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