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Residents displaced for new Jackson County jail announce demands

heart mobile home
Posted at 1:24 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 18:05:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Residents of the Heart Village Mobile Home Park found out last week that they will be displaced from their homes because Jackson County bought the land to build a new jail — and now they have some demands.

Fifty-five of the residents of Heart Village signed on to a set of demands for compensation, according to a release from KC Tenants, an organization that supports poor and working-class tenants in the city. KC Tenants is working with the mobile home residents regarding their displacement.

“After months of confusion and miscommunication, we have been informed that we will be displaced so that Jackson County can build a jail on the land where we currently reside in our homes. The County failed to make any real attempt to engage us, until the town hall forum last week,” the residents said in a statement. “We were told that they would provide meager rental assistance to compensate for our trouble. That is not good enough.”

Their demands include:

  • ​​A meeting between the residents and County Executive Frank White Jr., County Administrator Troy Schulte and County legislators before the end of August.
  • Full rent cancellation for the period between September 2021 and February 2022, when the County will have possession of the property.
  • Full compensation packages for each resident, including written confirmation from the County, by the end of September.
  • A cash payment of at least $10,000, in addition to individual compensation packages, unrestricted in its use (i.e. not a rent assistance voucher).

The county officially purchased the land two weeks ago, on July 12. The displacement is expected to affect about 100 families.

Currently tenants are being offered $5,000 to cover relocation costs, and management of the park previously said that the moving process would slowly get going over the next six months.