KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Residents of the 146 N Lawn Avenue apartments celebrated a major win Saturday with KC Tenants.
“They didn’t want to leave and they said, 'We won’t go,'” said Tara Raghuveer, director of KC Tenants. "The win for the families on the properties means that they get stability, they get to stay with their community.”
While small, the diverse community is filled with residents of various nationalities. But all residents came together to fight for the right to stay in their homes.
Months of organizing were put into motion after demands were made that residents said simply could not be met — residents were given a month's notice they must leave or pay double in rent.
“They just cut a historic deal with the city to ensure that they can stay on this property for the next two years — paying just $400 in rent and securing a set of tenant protections which mean that they are some of the most protected tenants in the whole city," Raghuveer said.
Burmese immigrant Su Ban was part of the fight.
“He’s very happy, grateful, he just doesn’t really know how to express it," Ban’s translator told KSHB. "He said he’s very happy that he can stay.”
Residents being able to stay eliminates the financial, physical and emotional burdens of moving.
“Many of them are elderly and have health issues — it means no having to stress and being able to take care of their health,” Raghuveer said.
Staying is especially meaningful to Ban who has called 146 N Lawn Avenue home for eight years.
“He said because of the community out here and also church is very close by and there is a school close by where his kids can go to school. ... Everyone here is just friendly, so it feels like home,” Ban’s translator said.