“Modern Day Redlining”:145+ Black Women Demand Kansas City End Discriminatory Housing Practices

Over 136 Black women in Kansas City unite to combat housing discrimination, urging officials to pass Ordinance 231019 banning source of income discrimination, a policy disproportionately affecting Black single mothers. The post “Modern Day Redlining”:145+ Black Women Demand Kansas City End Discriminatory Housing Practices appeared first on Kansas City Defender.

“Modern Day Redlining”:145+ Black Women Demand Kansas City End Discriminatory Housing Practices

KANSAS CITY, MO — In a passionate and unified letter, over 145 Black women of Kansas City have come together to address a critical issue plaguing our community: discriminatory housing practices.

Addressed to Mayor Quinton Lucas and the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council, their letter is a rallying cry against source of income discrimination — a pervasive & racist policy that disproportionately impacts Black families, particularly single mothers.

“We, over 145 Black women and constituents of Kansas City, write to express our avid support for a strong ban on source of income discrimination in Kansas City,” the letter begins, setting the tone for a powerful appeal rooted in the lived experiences of these women.

Source of income discrimination is not merely a policy issue but a blatant act of racial and gender oppression. It is the practice of landlords and property managers refusing tenancy to individuals based on their income sources, such as housing assistance vouchers or disability benefits.

This policy disproportionately affects Black residents, with Black women and their children being the most vulnerable.

The letter starkly highlights the intersection of race and gender: “Black women with children make up the largest share of voucher holders in Missouri; when landlords say they will not accept vouchers, they are effectively excluding prospective tenants on the basis of their race and gender.”

Drawing a parallel with historical injustices, the women’s letter goes on to state, “Put simply, there is little to no difference between source of income discrimination and racial discrimination in housing. Source of income discrimination is modern-day redlining.”

The letter not only calls for policy change but also seeks to empower Black mothers and marginalized groups in Kansas City to find “safe, accessible and affordable housing,” free from the constraints of poor living conditions and systemic violence.

The women remind the city officials of a previous attempt to address this issue: “In December 2019, KC Tenants wrote a ban on source of income discrimination into the Tenants Bill of Rights, but the former City Council amended it out of the final ordinance before it passed.” Their current push for Ordinance 231019 reflects a determined effort to rectify past oversights and make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected.

As Kansas City contemplates this new ordinance, the voices of these 145 Black women stand as a testament to the power of collective action and the enduring fight for justice. Their letter is not just a plea for policy change; it is a resounding call for a society where race, gender, or source of income no longer dictate one’s right to safe and stable housing.

The full letter can be read below;

From the Community

One Black woman KC resident, Alaysha Jenkins, a signee of the letter, gives her testimony, which we’ve provided in full, below;

When we talk about who is most impacted by source of income discrimination, we are talking about my story. 

My name is Alaysha Jenkins, and I am a leader with KC Tenants. I live in Southeast Kansas City with my two daughters. My childhood was unstable. I was raised in the foster care system. Nothing is more important to me than my daughters having the stability I didn’t have as a child. 

To me stability means having a place to call home. One that’s safe, accessible, affordable. A place that I chose with my own free will. I am sad to say that stability is not what I have to offer my daughters today. I use a Section 8 voucher. 

I didn’t choose the house I live in today. I live there because my voucher was three days away from expiring, and I had nowhere else to go. I had spent my last dollars on a hotel room. My landlord knew exactly how desperate I was and exploited that. 

Why should it matter where you get your money from if you can pay your rent? The truth is simple; many landlords believe awful stereotypes about people using vouchers. They say that we’re lazy. They say we’re violent or destructive. They say that we’re moochers or that we’ll ruin the “character” of the neighborhood. I’ve heard these things said about me and people like me. It’s not right. 

Yes, I use a voucher. I am also a single mom, and I homeschool my two daughters. I work hard. I am smart. My money is just as good as anyone else’s.

I organize with KC Tenants because every tenant in the city should be able to live anywhere they can afford the rent, regardless of how they pay for it. If I had a choice, I would live somewhere closer to high quality community centers and libraries, places I can take my daughters to learn about the world. I would live in a neighborhood I love. 

I organize with KC Tenants because I want myself and all Black women to be free. We are taking one step closer to making that dream a reality, by banning source of income discrimination in KC for good.

A full list of signatories can be found below;

Maya Neal
Ammaarah Khan
Shapree Marshall
DaJanae Moreland
Dani Baltimore
HB Ridley
Cassandra Smith
Valiera Brooks Davis
Jenay Manley
LeAndrea Williams
Stormi Raine Florence
Whitney Harris
Fatiha Muhammad
Rachel Atubi
Fanae Haile
Imani Issah
Jalisa Davis
Erin Bradley
Olivia Hill
Regina Lang
Sabrina Davis
Denise Hart
Alaysha Jenkins
Domanike Butler
Mary McNeal
Vanessa Freeman
Michelle Acostadelgado
Mary Jackson
Brittany Bell
Jasmine Richard
Consuela Hinkley
Arlene Jacob
Triseana Edwards
Amaia Cook
Anyssa Washington
Champaine Woodru
Urania Whitaker
Maxann Love
Julia Madison
Rachel Robinson
Jade Green
Noel Clay
Kathryn Evans
Ashley Johnson
Jazmyn Holt
Jonea Grigsby
Amber Stewart
Ruby Watson
Diane Charity
Fatima Washington
LaShawnda Ramsey
Deairra Perkins-Switzer
Cenyeaa Williams
Jewell Nelson
Elecia Ferdinand
Quanisha Suggs
KeHara Hood
Timashay Hood
Tangerina McCutchen
Shawnya White
Terry Harris
Angela Mason
Shayla Hood
Latresse Yarbough
Rhonda Miller
Maxine McMullen
Shanita McAfee Bryant
Sarah Davis
Azí King
Jacqueline Buycks
Ash Lakota
LaShon Andrews
Toshaya Workcu
Hadiza Sa-aadu
Melissa Civil
Cassie Williams
Keisha Blair
La’Shae Ford
Darcus Marzett-Hullaby
Brianna Miller
Sonya Coleman-Tall
Marvine Fluker
Mona Sherrer
Charrise Crawford
Sherona Chuks
Wendy Barth
Chirella Williams
Kate Gilman
Laquanda Jacobs
Bethany Pierce
LaDonna Scott
Bailey Keele
Natalie Cable
Shetara Sims
Gretchen Dudley
Javon Swopes
Renee Springer
Sandra Petty
Ally Gordon
Adonis Taylor
Alaysha Jenkins
Kate Raines
Megan Murphy
Tunisha Montgomery
Tandra Smith
Ciera Sweeney
Chanika Swopes
Delisha Peterson
Kalana Margrum
Rebecca Burnett
Evaline Taylor
Sharman Lang
Mikaela Johnson
Lucille H. Douglass
Kim Williams
Adanna Anikwe
Patricia Duncan
Shereka Barnes
Emanuella Evans
Karen Wade
Clara Pearson
Yvonne Dillahunty
Jo Evelyn Richards
Juanita Jennings
Tina Berry
Patricia A. James
Joyce Johnson
Ruby Ballard
Myrtle West
Shelia Collins
Annie Davis
Dorothy Baston
Phyllis Hardwick
Jacqueline A Neal
Alenia Frazier
Michelle Julmisse
Vicki L. Jackson
Jahna Riley
Laura Evrard
Kourtney May
Kara Mills
Hakima Tafunzi Payne
Yindia Akers
Deborah White
Viola Maxwell
Karen Rogers

The post “Modern Day Redlining”:145+ Black Women Demand Kansas City End Discriminatory Housing Practices appeared first on Kansas City Defender.