KCMO approves funding for the Office of the Tenant Advocate

Andrei Stoica

3/25/2021- Kansas City, Missouri

Jenay Manley, a leader with KC Tenants speaks at the press conference held ahead of the city council budget approval meeting.

Photo by Andrei Stoica

The Kansas City, Missouri City Council adopts $1.74 billion for the 2021-2022 city budget on March 25. Included in the budget is $931,495 to fund the Office of the Tenant advocate. The proposal to create the position was part of the Tenant Bill of Rights, an initiative led by local activist group KC Tenants. The bill was signed into law in June 2020 and included the creation of the office. The need to adequately fund the office was part of KC Tenants’ continued action and protests over the last nine months.

“This will be a victory for us at KC Tenants and it’s a victory for tenants across the city and not a moment too soon,” said Diane Charity, a leader with KC Tenants, at a press conference held ahead of the council’s approval.

At the press conference held just before the city council meeting, KC Tenants announced their next phase of advocacy for housing rights in Kansas City.

“We dream of a Kansas city where everyone has a home. We dream of a Kansas City where everyone has safe, accessible, truly and permanently affordable homes… I dream of the Kansas City where this mayor and city council passed a housing trust fund policy designed by the people who stand to be the most impacted,” said Jenay Manley, a leader of KC Tenants.

KC Tenants has also proposed the creation of a Housing Trust Fund at the press conference. The fund would have three components: governance, funding and programs that would prioritize long-term affordability, rehabilitative solutions for people with prior evictions and have community control.

“(If) we're going to end homelessness and housing insecurity, we have to think big. If we're going to care for our neighbors in a radical new way we're going to have to be bold. We have to take risks, do things and do things differently if we want different outcomes; and of course we have to approach this type of policymaking with humility,” said Jordan Ayala, a member of KC Tenants while talking about the fund.

KC Tenants will be holding Solidarity Rally with KC Homeless Union on Thursday, April 1 2021 in front of Kansas City, Missouri City Hall with the KC Homeless Union.

More details will be released from KC Tenants in the coming weeks.

Published on: 3/31/2021