Breaking Ground on Abilene Court

The Dickinson County Kansas Economic Development Corporation broke ground Tuesday afternoon on a new retirement housing complex in Abilene.

The complex, located off of Northeast 21st Street, is intended for those who are looking for a place to settle in after retirement. The complex is a living space that is made of 16 duplexes and a clubhouse with affordable rent. 

“According to the US census bureau, every 7 seconds an American turns 50. That’s more than 1200 people every day.” says Jessica Goodale, Executive Director of the DKEDC. “This is our baby boomer generation. We have a higher than usual retiree demographic. They’ve made their success, they’ve put their time in, and now they are ready to settle down.” 

Abilene has become a very popular small town to retire to. Abilene’s community attracts a lot of the older generation. Which is why the city is designing these duplexes for ages 55 and over in hopes to offer diversified options for housing in the area. 

The project is heavily being backed by Wichita housing development group, Mennonite Housing, which has contributed resources to get the project underway. Along with the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation to help facilitate in gaining funding. 

“At Mennonite Housing we’ve been doing property management and development for over 30 years now. This will be our 24th.” says Byron Adrian, CEO of Mennonite Housing. “We normally develop properties near Wichita until we got a call from the city of Abilene who had contacted us to ask if we would be interested in helping with the project… Mennonite housing is excited to extend a hand and help with the affordable retirement housing here in Abilene.” 

The project became possible thanks to the help of a tax credit allocation awarded to the organization last year. This particular development is using funds from the federal government and tax credits from the department of treasury, which were all facilitated with the aid of the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation. This is one of the very first developments coming to Kansas that was financed from state level income housing tax credits. 

“We couldn’t be more thrilled about this at Kansas housing . This will allow us to double the amount of investment we make in Kansas communities. This is jobs, this is community revitalization.” says Ryan Vincant with the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation. 

Community members hope to see a beginning to the aid of affordable living through this project. According to Abilene Mayor Brandon Rein, “As you travel across the state you hear housing housing housing. It’s a state issue. I’m personally very proud of the city of Abilene for embracing a project like this. We need diversified housing options for our communities and this is a great opportunity for that.”