City of Liberal Housing Director Karen LaFreniere has been with the city for 10 years and in that time, housing throughout the city has changed and evolved. Q: In your time as Housing Director, what are some changes you’ve noticed about housing in Liberal?
A: We’ve met the demand for rental housing by implementing the Moderate Income Housing Grant we got and the Rural Housing Incentive Districts have also really helped with that. We were short on rentals and apartments, multi-family housing, and we’ve pretty much met that need. Single-family housing is still something we need not because we’re short of it right now, but because a lot of our housing stock has aged and we need new housing stock.
Q: What are some past projects you would say you’re particularly proud of?
A: I’m proud of the fact we’ve implemented all the programs requested by the Focus on the Future Committee. Self-Help Housing, we’ve done 65 homes and we’re doing 10 more with this grant we have now. We help hundreds of people every year with the Senior Housing Program and the First-Time Homebuyer Program and the Safe at Home Program and the Paint the Town Program. Those are programs that have been implemented as requested by the city manager because they were requested by the Focus on the Future Committee.
(Read more: Liberal Leader & Times)