Saturday, May 12, 2018
TKC BREAKING NEWS MUST READ!!! COUNCILMAN QUINTON LUCAS TALKS NORTHLAND PUBLIC HOUSING DEBATE!!!
An ongoing Northland low-income housing debate has implications for all of Kansas City and beyond.
To wit . . .
KANSAS CITY COUNCILMAN QUINTON LUCAS TALKS RISING TENSIONS AMID NORTHLAND RESISTANCE TO BROKE-ASS NEW NEIGHBORS!!!
Again, this is a longstanding problem and battle lines have already been drawn.
There's a petition with thousands of signatures and comments noting nearby neighborhood resistance.
Northeast News covered the topic in great detail last year
KCPT recently included the Northland debate with in their examination of Kansas City affordable housing or lack thereof . . .
And so, this comprehensive examination of the topic is important for a lot of reasons but mostly because Councilman Lucas is a leading (yet still undeclared) contender for the next Kansas City Mayor and he's one of the few people in this debate who isn't calling everyone racist or using subtle language to malign po'folk.
Here's his take that will undoubtedly influence the conversation. Checkit:
Councilman Quinton Lucas Addresses Controversy Over Kansas City Replacing Chouteau Courts
One of the more interesting parts of our affordable housing conversation is about how we ensure it's available throughout all of Kansas City. This issue came up last summer in discussion of the $30 million HUD Choice Neighborhood Grant.
As part of the grant application, the City and its partners, agreed that in addition to replacing old, substandard public housing in the Historic Northeast area, we'd also provide new mixed-income housing in other parts of the City. The developers and Housing Authority looked to the Northland as a place to provide around 30 replacement opportunities for public housing clients.
The City, Housing Authority, and Developers rolled out the plan at a July 5th meeting, which led to a number of community concerns relating to a lack of prior consultation, density, property value and public safety impact, and programming and public transportation (or a lack thereof) for residents relocating to the Barry Road corridor. There was a feeling from some nearby residents and an online petition that yielded over 4,500 signatories that the proposal was being rammed through without accounting for community concerns and during an ill-timed meeting. There was a feeling by some others, most recently highlighted in a KCPT – Kansas City PBS special, that the opposition was based on discriminatory intent against the low income population. I'll note here I appear in the KCPT piece but was interviewed about affordable housing generally, not this project. I wish I had been because we might have been able to make a few things clear. I'll try to do so here:
1. No part of the city is uniformly racist, nor is any part of the city uniformly benevolent. After the meeting about the project, I received a few messages that were vile and disrespectful of people in public housing. I spent most of my childhood in public or low income housing and live in mixed income housing today, so was concerned with those comments and remain so today. But also after the meeting groups like Northland Neighborhoods Inc, Platte County Economic Development Council, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department North Patrol, and neighborhood activists from the Northland reached out to the City, Housing Authority, and developer to work on a solution and a path forward. Since that time representatives from these Northland organizations have been working toward developing a project in the Northland that provides quality housing and accessibility for low income residents. I expect these groups working with the City and related agencies to come up with a site idea in the Northland and to help facilitate public conversation in upcoming months. I attended the last meeting and look forward to attending future meetings.
2. The Northland, like any part of the city, has different types of people, including folks of low income, children of different races, and those who speak different languages. Just as one example, I have visited with North Kansas City Schools about the socially and economically diverse student body they teach each day. There are a lot of good people in the Northland and there are some with whom I disagree strongly. But the amazing thing about being an at-large representative is that I see that's the case for the whole city, including the part in which I reside. Key stakeholders in the Northland and with our city will ensure that a few negative viewpoints don't keep us from doing what's right. I also believe the majority of folks know that having quality housing that helps families improve their lot in life should be welcome in all communities.
3. This isn't even really a Northland conversation as much as I think we all should take the time to re-evaluate our view on affordable housing and its clients. Low income folks are in every school district in our area, work at your businesses, and are key to improving our region. Providing fair wages, quality housing, and educational opportunities is what we need to do in all Kansas City neighborhoods.
We're on the clock, so I'll keep you posted on this one. Q.
Developing . . .