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In many ways, housing advocacy should be easy. Everyone needs housing to thrive, therefore it should be as easily attainable as possible. However in reality, many topics get mixed in and make the conversation much more complicated. Deeply ingrained systemic racism, generational wealth, market volatility impacting rental and purchase prices, and low wages create an...
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We knew going into the legislative session that it would be a wild year. Unfortunately, wild years where very little gets done has become the normal legislative process in Missouri. It wasn’t designed to be this way. However, partisan infighting, electoral maps designed to favor one party, distrust in government and an overall breakdown in...
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The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s newly released report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, documents a shortage of 7 million affordable and available rental homes for our nation’s lowest-income renters, who make up one quarter of all renters in the U.S. This severe shortage forces 71% of our poorest families – seniors, people...
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First coined by sociologist Ruth Glass in the 1960s, gentrification has been part of the lexicon for those working in both economics and the affordable housing sector. Gentrification as an idea has changed over the years. For Glass it was the process wherein middle-class workers moved into the working-class neighborhoods of London, resulting in the...
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This past week Empower Missouri held its Annual Week of Action. In addition to 3 virtual days, this year we were able to be back in the Capitol for the first time in over 2 years! It was so good to be back.  On each of our virtual days attendees were able to learn about...
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Last week, I offered testimony against a pair of bills in the Missouri House and Senate aimed at reducing homelessness. I first celebrated with the sponsors and the committee members that the Missouri legislature should be doing more to address our neighbors who live outside; homelessness is an untenable situation that is below the dignity...
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Matthew Desmond describes eviction as both a cause and a condition of poverty. What does that mean, and how should Missouri respond? First, it is important to understand that there are different forms of legal eviction in our state. If a tenant damages the property, breaks the law, or violates the lease (say, by having...
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For months, Empower Missouri and our allies in Missouri have been urging our federal representatives to pass the Build Back Better Act, an opportunity to make historic investments for our neighbors with low incomes. Last week, Congress passed what we hope to be a final version of the bill. It includes targeted investments to reduce...
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Homelessness and poverty are not crimes. However, in many communities across Missouri, it is treated like one. Police involvement in the form of ‘camp sweeps’ is often the method used to move people who are houseless out of the areas they have made their home. Springfield, Missouri can be used as a case study for...
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Legal scholars and housing advocates alike have been watching the CDC eviction moratorium closely. I’ll let the lawyers work their own theories on whether the court cases will end up supporting the moratorium or will overturn it because the CDC doesn’t have that type of authority. As for housing advocates, we know that keeping people...
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