Block Real Estate Services Launches Neighborhood Revitalization Non-Profit
Renew KC Neighborhoods’ Mission is to Remodel Distressed Homes and Entire Blocks
Block Real Estate Services managing principal Kenneth Block has launched Renew KC Neighborhoods, a non-profit organization established to improve distressed Kansas City, Mo. neighborhoods. Titan Built, LLC is partnering with the new non-profit to provide some of the skilled labor needed to make the home improvements in the urban core.
Block, a commercial real estate developer, intends to leave a legacy and lend a hand to Kansas City homeowners, many of whom are elderly and living on a fixed income, and do not have the financial means to bring their property up to city codes. Renew KC Neighborhoods will assist these homeowners by remediating code violations such as peeling, cracked, or blistered paint, damaged siding, roof leaks, broken, cracked or missing window panes, and other unsafe living conditions.
“Kansas City is my hometown and it tears me apart to see entire blocks of homes fall into disrepair,” said Block. “I empathize with homeowners who can’t afford to make needed repairs. Our goal for Renew KC Neighborhoods is to remove a major stressor for them, while returning some blighted neighborhoods to their previous glory.”
The non-profit is beginning the selection process by reviewing a list of repeat Kansas City, Mo. code violators, and then will visit homes and with homeowners, to assess their needs. The foundation’s board will review the prospects and determine which block will be the first to be revitalized.
Kansas City, Mo. Councilwoman Alissia Canady has been instrumental in identifying neighbors in need. “I have witnessed the despair felt by many homeowners in my district,” said Councilwoman Canady, who represents the 5th District and who has been active in helping elderly homeowners in the urban core. “They are afraid of losing their homes; some of which have been passed down for generations. I am grateful to Ken Block for launching the Renew KC Neighborhoods organization, which will provide much needed structural repairs to help bring homeowners up to code. But more importantly, it will give them peace of mind and allow them to stay in their homes, while improving the neighborhood.”
Once the repairs have been made, the foundation will ask the city to re-inspect the homes to record that the code violations have been corrected. In some cases, rehabilitated homes may be made available to families that cannot qualify for any type of mortgage loan. Fifth District Kansas City, Mo. Councilman Lee Barnes is also supportive of the mission of Renew KC Neighborhoods.
“It is exciting to see that Mr. Block and his firm are taking a deeper dive into community service by establishing this not-for-profit organization that will help those in our community that are deserving of assistance, especially the elderly,” said Councilman Barnes.
Block has seeded the fund with $50,000 and is awaiting IRS approval on the non-profit’s 501(c)(3) status. Once that approval is granted, Renew KC Neighborhoods will begin accepting donations through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. Block’s vision is to establish an organization dedicated to renewing Kansas City neighborhoods and to provide an opportunity for those in the private sector to donate to a tax-exempt organization run by knowledgeable professionals.
Click here if you or someone you know may be interested in making a contribution.