EACH DAY, 42 EVICTIONS ARE FILED IN KANSAS CITY.
The nation's housing crisis has reached emergency levels. A person working full time, paid minimum wage, cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in any county in the United States. More than half of all Americans spend over 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities. 12 million households dedicate over half their wages to housing. Today, more than three million families and individuals experience homelessness, including more than one million children.
Under these conditions, most of us, but particularly poor people and communities of color, live one emergency away from an eviction. Over the last 18 years, 42 formal evictions have been filed per average business day in Jackson County, Missouri. Both a cause and condition of poverty, eviction impacts employment and health, causes student mobility, and can make it harder and harder to find secure housing.
Kansas City has an urgent opportunity for intervention. Poor people and communities of color have not yet been priced out of places like Kansas City. However, if we fail to imagine and implement systemic reforms, they will be.