Landlords spend over $75,000 opposing interior inspection

Landlords spend over $75,000 opposing interior inspection

Kansas City landlords don't have a solution about how to deal with "bad landlords" but they have spent over $75,000 to oppose a reasonable response.

Campaign disclosure reports show that Housing For All - a campaign committee formed to oppose Question #1 - has raised over $75,000 to oppose an initiative petition to require interior inspections of Kansas City, Mo. rental properties.

Most of the funds came from out-of-state sources, primarily a $24,000 in-kind contribution from the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors via American Strategies.

Other major contributors include Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors ($17,500), Missouri Realtors ($10,000) and Apartment Association of Kansas City ($8,000), according to campaign disclosure reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Petitioners gather enough signature for KCMO interior inspection ordinance

Petitioners gather enough signature for KCMO interior inspection ordinance

The Kansas City Mo. City Council will be compelled to consider the Healthy Homes interior inspection initiative petition  as petitioners have gathered sufficient signatures.

The signed petitions were turned in at a public event Tues., Feb. 27th at 3:30 pm at the Kansas City City Hall. Read the media release.

"Just because I'm a renter doesn't mean I'm not entitled to basic human rights," said Diane Charity, one of the Healthy Homes petitioners and a community leader.

KC Star urges a focus on KCMO housing issues on East Side

The Kansas City Star, in an editorial, outlined an agenda for Kansas City Mayor Sly James' remaining 19 months by focusing on the city's East Side and housing issues.

The editorial stated:

"The whole purpose of politics is supposed to be mobilizing for the common good, and the still-lagging East Side needs all of the love it can get.

One of the many issues that requires attention there, and ASAP, is housing insecurity among its many renters.

Recently, Harvard-trained housing researcher and Kansas City native Tara Raghuveer, whose work was cited in Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” shared her study of evictions in Kansas City during the last 17 years with city officials.

The impact of evictions on families and neighborhoods

The impact of evictions on families and neighborhoods

The issue of evictions is thoroughly explored in an online article published in Stateline.

Here's the opening summary of the issue.

Evictions destabilize families, forcing them into poorer neighborhoods with higher crime rates. And evictions cost cities money: After a family is evicted, a city can end up losing thousands of dollars in property taxes and unpaid utility bills, and may have to bear increased costs from homeless shelters and hospitals.

To address the problem, some cities are trying a new tactic: provide tenants with free legal counsel in housing court. In eviction proceedings, the vast majority of landlords, 85 to 90 percent in some housing courts, show up to court with a lawyer, while tenants often face eviction without legal counsel.

The idea is that tenants with lawyers have a better chance of reaching agreements with landlords so they can stay in their homes — and avoid having an eviction on their record, which makes it harder to find another place to live.

Read the full article

Petition signature training session set for Nov. 2

Petition signature training session set for Nov. 2

Join us for this free training to learn how to circulate initiative petitions and collect signatures from registered voters.

The petition will ask the Kansas City City Council to place before the voters a ballot measure that, if approved, would required landlords to obtain a permit to rent homes and apartments which are free from health and safety defects.

The training session will be Thur., Nov. 2, 6-7:30 pm, at Zion Grove Missionary Baptist Church, 2801 Swope Pkwy, Kansas City, MO 64130.

RSVP by emailing Sarah Owsley Townsend, more2sarah@gmail.com

KC Star Editorial: How to make Kansas City rental housing safer

KC Star Editorial: How to make Kansas City rental housing safer

The Kansas City Star made a strong case for interior rental inspections when the Kansas City Mo. City Council was considering the issue in August 2017.

The editorial board made a convincing case for an interior inspection program based on community need and urged the City Council to put the issue on the November 2017 ballot.

The measure failed to get out of committee and never reached the full City Council for consideration. Failure to get the issue on the November ballot is the primary reason those interested in the issue have decided to pursue an initiative petition.