Housing is not truly affordable if residents must drive everywhere to access jobs, education, and services. Many households in Kansas City spend as much or more on transportation than on housing. Like housing, disparities in access to transportation disproportionately burden historically disinvested communities of color, low wealth, and the disabled.
We support the Tenants Bill of Rights being considered by the KCMO City Council as an important step towards affordable housing. BikeWalkKC advocates for three key strategies to make both housing and transportation affordable to everyone:
- Transportation and land use must be central to affordable housing investments.
- Future development in the city should build dense, mixed-use, and walkable neighborhoods with frequent transit service. There should be a variety of housing types and price points to ensure development is inclusive and does not displace anyone.
- City Hall’s policies and investments in economic development, infrastructure, and location of public services should support and reinforce its affordable housing and transportation goals.
While our focus is on the issue of transportation, we also feel it is important to express our stance on other issues that intersect with that topic. The issue of housing is one of these issues. For us, the broader consideration needs to be focused on creating an opportunity for everyone in KCMO to be able to establish and maintain a good quality of life. From this standpoint, we find particular overlap with our mission in the background language of the resolution, which reads in part:
“WHEREAS, the intersecting and sometimes competing costs of housing and health force an undue burden on our city’s poorest and most vulnerable tenants;…”
As we’ve stated in the past, we believe that housing and transportation are issues that are best addressed together, rather than being pitted against one another to the detriment of both.
To that end, BikeWalkKC joins the chorus of advocates who want to see this resolution adopted and the rights of all tenants in KCMO ensured.