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Voucher tenants must leave south Kansas City apartment complex after landlord’s contract terminated

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Nearly 100 tenants who receive federal housing assistance must move out of a south Kansas City apartment complex because the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Mo., said the owner refuses to maintain minimum living standards.

Some tenants are worried about finding another place to live.

There have been complaints of sewage backups and other potentially life-threatening maintenance issues -- fifty-six complaints to the housing authority during a two week period in November alone.

Michael Childs is one of three veterans living at the Nob Hill Apartments. He has most of his rent subsidized by taxpayers.

Childs' home is one of 93 that all failed inspection last month, prompting the housing authority to stop doing business with Nob Hill's out-of-country investors. He used to be homeless before getting a special housing voucher for veterans. So, even though he admits his bathtub has backed up, he's just happy to have a roof over his head.

He said the idea of leaving scares him.

"In my mind, 'Boy you are stuck now,'" Childs said. "'You got to move in the dead of winter. Ain't nobody gonna help you. How are you going to do this? You know, you just get a check once a month. How are you going to do all of this?'"

The Housing Authority of Kansas City's executive director says he took the unprecedented step of terminating a landlord's contract because Nob Hill's owners and property manager simply would not follow the rules.

Housing specialists are working with all the voucher tenants at Nob Hill to find them better places to live by the end of February. 10 have already moved out.

Veterans like Childs will get special help to find a new home, and the housing authority says no tenant will be forced to leave before they've found a new place to live. Officials said it's important not to spend tax dollars on a landlord who simply isn't doing their job.

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