Study: Racial divide in eviction data in Jackson County - KCTV5

Study: Racial divide in eviction data in Jackson County

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Researchers and housing advocates are working together to study 17 years of eviction data in Jackson County - and they say the numbers show a clear racial divide. Researchers and housing advocates are working together to study 17 years of eviction data in Jackson County - and they say the numbers show a clear racial divide.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Researchers and housing advocates are working together to study 17 years of eviction data in Jackson County - and they say the numbers show a clear racial divide. 

Tara Raghuveer is a Kansas native who has been passionate about housing justice and has researched the issue for years. 

Raghuveer, along with UMKC and other organizations, partnered to pour through more than 170,000 evictions records spanning 17 years. 

"We had the city manager's chief data scientist, we had lawyers who work on housing with legal aid of western MO, we had professors from UMKC," Raghuveer said. "Importantly we had neighborhood leaders and community organizers."

One finding, she says, was that race is the biggest evictions predictor even when you hold variables like income constant. 

“The issue of race and housing in Kansas City goes way back," UMKC Associate Professor of Urban Planning Jacob Wagner said. “JC Nichols' company was a big promoter and user of racially restrictive covenants that shaped who could buy a home in a particular neighborhood or who you could sell your home to even."

But Raghuveer says Kansas City is not alone. 

“In fact, I think Kansas City's problems are very similar to Milwaukee's problems, to St. Louis' problems, to Denver's problems," she said. "And that affords us even more of an opportunity to be a leader on this issue nationally.”

Raghuveer say she hopes to accomplish three major goals - educate communities about housing rights, get people talking about solutions and encourage the city to take action. 

"It was the beginning, as opposed to the end of a conversation," she said. "I feel like people left the day very much feeling like there's a lot of work left to be done."

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