The nation’s housing crisis has reached emergency levels. In 2018, a person working full time in a minimum-wage job cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in any US county. More than half of all Americans spend over 30 percent of their income on housing. Only one in five households qualifying for federal housing assistance receives it, leaving more people to rent from private landlords than ever before. Under these conditions, most people—especially low-income people and communities of color—live one emergency away from an eviction.
Eviction provides a clear window for understanding housing, racial injustice, and poverty in cities. In the face of the eviction crisis, national researchers, community organizers, and other civic actors have rallied together to document data and call attention to this crisis. One of these collective efforts is the Kansas City Eviction Project (KC Eviction Project), a collaboration between researchers, community organizers, neighborhood leaders, lawyers, and policymakers.
Metropolitan Kansas City sprawls across the Kansas-Missouri state line and encompasses five counties. The metropolitan area contains an urban core, suburban, and rural communities. Two million people live in the metropolitan area, and about 480,000 live in the city itself. Kansas City is comparable in size with other midwestern cities like St. Louis and Denver.