MISSOURI (KFVS) - At a press conference Monday with local and state officials, Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder discussed the importance of the state's Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, which benefits some of Missouri's most vulnerable citizens.
Kinder, the state's highest ranking Republican officeholder, was joined by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, members of Missouri's Legislative Black Caucus, and local St. Louis officials, in a bipartisan effort to release funding for low-income housing projects approved by the Missouri Housing Development Commission.
The event was at the Salvation Army Veterans Residence, 2935 Locust St. in St. Louis, which was financed with MHDC low-income housing tax credits.
At the MHDC's Dec. 6 meeting, Kinder was the only commissioner to oppose a motion to delay final approval of $13.7 million worth of low-income housing tax credit requests. The motion was part of "an unprecedented backroom deal" Governor Jay Nixon made with a handful of state senators, supposedly to ensure passage of the recent bipartisan bill to try to lure Boeing to St. Louis for production of its next generation 777X airliner.
"The Boeing bill passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House and Senate, and I support that effort completely," Kinder said. "But there is no reason to tie that bill to these MHDC projects, which are crucial to low-income families and seniors in Missouri. This was strictly a political move by the governor to quell potential opposition."
Kinder joined with members of Missouri Legislative Black Caucus in criticizing the governor's action and asking that the money be approved. Sen. Nasheed and other members of the caucus have said they oppose any effort to use the Boeing deal "as an excuse to deprive needy senior citizens and low income Missourians of decent housing."
Kinder said the action at the Dec. 6 MHDC meeting will delay several important projects for more than three months.
"If you're a developer, you already have resources invested in these projects," Kinder said. "For developers and lenders, time is money, and by delaying the funding contractors are in limbo while construction jobs are lost. This is not how business should be conducted by the State of Missouri."