KCHBA Announces Proposal to Reignite Housing Starts in KCMO

According to A Vision for Housing: Solutions for Kansas City, the city has a goal of creating 10,000 new, low-income housing units by 2027. Yet housing starts have dropped significantly in KCMO, while they are on the rise most everywhere else in the metro.

This is largely in part to a new energy code that was voted upon and approved by the prior Kansas City, Mo., City Council. This code took effect for all permit applications submitted after Sept. 29, 2023. Since then, the city has only issued 10 single-family permits under this new code.

Under this code, neither the problem, nor the goal, are being addressed. Instead, housing costs are increasing, and the availability is decreasing. Recognizing this dilemma, the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City (KCHBA) is announcing a proposal that will increase new housing starts in KCMO while also increasing the energy efficiency standards to which new homes are built.

Under the KCHBA’s proposal, an alternate compliance path would be introduced to Kansas City’s current energy code that gives builders more flexibility in construction techniques and methods, provided they adhere to a nationally recognized Home Energy Rating Score.

The proposal would also significantly streamline the plan review and permitting process allowing new construction to begin in an efficient and predictable manner. Combined, these actions would reduce the cost of construction and increase the availability of housing options for Kansas City residents, while also providing for verified improvements in energy efficiency.

The KCHBA’s plan is a win-win for all interested parties, and it is confident that if adopted by the City Council, this proposal will quickly address KCMO’s dwindling housing prospects relative to the rest of the metro.