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More than 13,000 waiting for affordable housing in Kansas City

Posted at 8:17 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 23:19:27-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Right now, 13,607 people are waiting for affordable housing in Kansas City, and the housing authority says it could take up to three years for some to get a place to live.

Wait List By the Numbers

  • 13,607 people waiting for some form of affordable housing
  • 9,529 waiting for Section 8
  • 4,078 waiting for Public Housing
  • 74% are African-American
  • 14% are white
  • 24% are disabled
  • 5% are elderly
  • 42% are families
  • 28% are single
  • 88% qualify for extremely low income
  • $8,023 average adjusted income for public housing list
  • $9,366 average adjusted income for section 8 list

There are two programs right now — the housing choice voucher program and section 8. The vouchers can be used at wherever the recipient decides. Section 8 is made up of several buildings throughout the city.

Arlene Hinson, deputy executive director for the Housing Authority of Kansas City, said, "We are looking at a 98 percent occupancy rate, so therefore we don't have the availability." The wait could be three years for some people.

"And that just puts more pressure on the entire community system," Evie Craig, president and CEO of reStart. "We have had families, and that's probably one of the most egregious examples, who've gotten vouchers and six months later they're still here waiting to get into their housing."

Recently, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens boasted about cutting the low-income housing tax credit. He claims Democrat and Republican-led audits found "only 42 cents of every dollar was actually going to help people." Hinson disagrees.

"We've been in the business for a long time and we have to. You have mandates. You have processes. You have checks and balances so we definitely are adhering to what the requirements are," she said.

Craig says reStart gets at least 25 calls a week from families looking for housing. Hinson tells 41 Action News the need is growing.