NEAT sets October 4 Affordable Housing Forum

Reese Bentzinger
Editorial Assistant
Northeast News

Unsolved questions about gentrification linger from last January’s State of the Northeast Forum hosted by Northeast Alliance Together (NEAT).

To begin to answer those questions, another NEAT forum will be held on October 4 in an effort  to resolve the debate. The forum will take place starting at 6 p.m. at the Kansas City Public Library’s North-East Branch.

“We are going to share our housing policy platforms,” stated Mary Cyr, director of the NEAT.

The debate at the heart of the forum is how to build safe, affordable housing without running the risks of gentrification. This week’s forum hopes to create a resolution that not only avoids driving homeowners of modest incomes out of the area, but also ends up satisfying all parties involved.

The forum will focus on eight ‘talking points’ that those in attendance agree are important to discuss. These include questions about Kansas City’s five-year housing plan, how to make housing both affordable and developer-friendly, and how to define affordability.

“The first bullet point is that housing is a basic human right,” noted Cyr.

Panel members representing a diversity of opinions will be leading the forum. Participants include Kansas City, Missouri Councilmen  Scott Wagner and Quinton Lucas, affordable housing developers Todd Lieberman and Gloria Ortiz-Fisher, as well as KCMO section manager Jennifer Tidwell.

The forum will be open for the public to participate, as citizens will have an opportunity to voice opinions to councilmembers and housing developers about issues concerning gentrification that have surfaced in the Historic Northeast. The forum will be moderated by Jerusalem Farm Director Jordan Schiele.

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