Expert believes Neighborhood Preservation Act can help keep young professionals in Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - The Neighborhood Preservation Act is a tax credit program administered by the Department of Economic Development to help in the rehabilitation and new construction of homes in certain census blocks in Missouri.

Rusty Worley, the Executive Director for the Downtown Springfield Association, said it's important people use programs like the Neighborhood Preservation Act to continue development outside the city's center.

Worley said the Springfield community has done a great job developing the urban landscape of Springfield, which helps retain many of the area's college graduates. Worley added that it's time to start thinking about the next phase of those graduates lives. "When they're getting ready to start a family, too often they follow the examples of their parents and grandparents and default out to suburbia, even though they really like their urban lifestyle," began Worley. "We would love to see investment in Phelps Grove, West Central, Grant Beach, Midtown and so those are all within walking and biking distance of downtown." He said this will allow young families to move into the homes they are looking for while maintaining an urban lifestyle.

"Qualifying Areas" include "distressed communities," as defined in 135.530 RSMo, and areas with a median household income of less than 70% of the median household income for the applicable MSA or non-MSA. “Eligible Areas” must have a median household income of 70% to 89% of the median household income for the applicable MSA or non-MSA.

Any taxpayer who incurs eligible costs for a new residence or rehabilitates a residence for owner occupancy that is located in a designed area is eligible to apply for the Neighborhood Preservation Act.

Worley said, to his knowledge, no one in the Springfield-metropolitan area has taken advantage of the Neighborhood Preservation Act and it's benefits.

The 2020 Neighborhood Preservation Act application cycle is now open. Applications must be postmarked no later than February 15.

For more information or additional questions, refer to the link included with this story.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.