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Opinion: Kansas City Makes History with SOI Discrimination Ban

A Triumph for Equality and Inclusivity and Solidifying its Commitment to Equitable Housing.
Mayor+Quinton+Lucas+reaffirms+commitment+to+inclusive+housing+policies%2C+emphasizing+the+importance+of+fair+living+standards+for+all+residents.
Natalie Adams
Mayor Quinton Lucas reaffirms commitment to inclusive housing policies, emphasizing the importance of fair living standards for all residents.

  Mayor Quinton Lucas and members of Kansas City’s city council made strides for housing equality on Jan. 25 by passing a groundbreaking ordinance, shielding renters from discrimination based on their source of income.  

  The Kansas City Council voted 10-3 to put a stop to discrimination practices on tenants’ sources of income. Meaning that those relying on government assistance or housing vouchers will no longer be subject to practices permitting them from fair housing. 

  “If you can legally pay the rent, it shouldn’t matter how you pay the rent,” Mayor Lucas said. 

  I agree. No one should be denied housing because they pay in non-traditional ways. Regardless of your source of income, you should have the right to equal housing. 

  Source of income discrimination, or SOI, affects mostly Black renters, more specifically Black women with children, Perpetuating racially segregated neighborhoods, and areas with high concentrations of poverty. 

  This is a social justice issue, and it’s that discrimination and prejudice are still rampant in Kansas City’s housing market. It is time to step up for Kansas Citians and support communities that have gotten the short end of the stick for far too long. 

  “This legislation will help remove historical racial barriers of redlining in our city,” said Councilman Jonathan Duncan, a co-sponsor of the ordinance. 

  This policy is about making people’s lives better, creating inclusive communities and giving people the right to fair living standards. How landlords could look at a family on the brink of homelessness and tell them no, because they have a preconceived notion about them, is an abusive use of power. 

  “It will change everything for us and for so many like us who have been trapped by limited options,” said KC Tenants leader Alaysha Jenkins.  

  This is a crucial move in the right direction for Kansas City. What should no longer be up for discussion are laws, policies and ordinances that protect racist and classist people in positions of authority. 

  Stand up for a better Kansas City, a more inclusive Kansas City. Housing is and always should have been non-negotiable because it is something everyone deserves.

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    LisaFeb 9, 2024 at 8:16 pm

    Well written and researched!

    Reply