Kansans demand help with rent, say federal and state assistance is not enough

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)— A group of people gathered outside the Kansas State Capitol on Thursday, demanding affordable housing.

Members of Rent Zero Kansas spoke about their experiences with struggling to afford housing costs, as part of a national movement to end housing injustice. Tenants organizations around the country also spoke to local press in their communities as part of the Homes Guarantee campaign organized by People’s Action. 

“Since the onset of COVID-19, policymakers at all levels of government have had the tools to comprehensively protect tenants during this crisis, but consistently chose to put corporate interests and profit over people. Many Kansans are still being evicted, face the risk of their utilities being shut off, and/or do not qualify for rental assistance programs.”

Rent Zero Kansas

Louise Lynch from Kansas City spoke at the event. Lynch said there’s been times where it’s hard to keep the lights on, as she scrambles for money to pay her electric bill. Lynch supports her husband, who uses a CPAP machine to treat his breathing condition. She said without access to electricity, the situation could become dire.

“How do I get out from under and survive,” Lynch told Kansas’ Capitol Bureau. “Because I’m not willing to watch my family die, or any other human being.”

Lynch called federal and state assistance programs a “bandaid” for fixing the issue, arguing that people will have issues coping with the financial turmoil brought on by the pandemic.

The group is urging lawmakers to take action to help people stay in their homes.

To learn more about Rent Zero Kansas, click here.

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