Members of the Missouri Housing Development Commission today approved a $35 million package aimed at helping Missourians buy homes, pay their real estate taxes and make energy efficiency improvements. It is also hopes the program will give a boost to the struggling housing industry in the state.
$20 million will be taken from the commission’s fund balance. Of that, $15 million will provide property tax relief for approximately 10,000 Missourians, who would get up to $1,250 reimbursed by the state. An additional $500 is available to those who make qualified energy efficiency improvements to their homes. The remaining $5 million from the fund balance will help Missourians buy their first house.
The remaining $15 million comes from the leftover federal economic stimulus money sent to Missouri from Washington. MHDC Chairman, State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, says that money will be used as bridge-financing for housing construction projects that run short of the cash needed to complete financing.
Only one member of the MHDC voted against the measure. Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, a Republican, first requested that the commission vote separately on the proposal to use leftover federal funds and money from the commission’s fund balance. That failed to receive enough votes to pass.
Kinder also objected to the eligibility requirement for property tax relief. In the major cities, Missourians can earn around $95,000 and qualify. Kinder says that’s too high and keeps the program from being focused on those who truly need it.
Brent Martin interviews State Treasurer Clint Zweifel on MHDC $35 million package. (6:30 MP3)