In recent years, Kansas City has experienced a boom in economic development. But, with prosperity comes unique challenges, including maintaining quality, affordable housing. We, as a community, need to ensure that everyone who wishes to live here and share in the prosperity can access quality, affordable housing.
According to the City of Kansas City’s CHAS Data Analysis, 34.4% of those making between $40,001 and $64,000 are cost-burdened or extremely cost-burdened when it comes to housing. In other words, these residents spend at least 30% (and sometimes more than half) of their income on housing costs. Indeed, utility burden is also impacting families. The Spring 2018 KCMO Housing Survey showed that the average Kansas Citian’s utilities constitute 23% of their housing costs, which is the 7th worst in the nation in terms of utility cost burden. We need to provide more resources - both at the municipal and state level - to alleviate these issues.
While in law school, I worked with Legal Aid of Western Missouri to help with an affordable housing program on the City’s eastside. Additionally, I worked double time to not only earn a law degree, but also earn an MBA with an emphasis in real estate. So, I understand the distinct and complex facets of housing to effectuate positive change.
These experiences inspired me to draft a bill enabling the establishment of Community Land Trusts (“CLTs”), which is a mechanism that locks in affordability subsidies in housing stock for generations. Modeling the bill on other successful CLT programs across the United States, I am committed to working with the General Assembly’s leadership to create more cost-effective housing solutions. Likewise, I support measures that ensure tax incentives are used to help the community, not corporations. I am ready to hit the ground running in Jeff City to ensure that economic development benefits all, rather than just wealthy out-of-state corporations.