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Kansas City residents are asking for a crackdown on unlicensed short-term rentals

A street in Midtown Kansas City shows multiple two-story houses with green front lawns on a sunny summer day.
Carlos Moreno
The 64111 zip code, which includes neighborhoods like Volker, has witnessed an increase in short-term rentals in the past two years.

Fewer than 10% of Kansas City's short-term rentals, like Airbnb and Vrbo, are licensed. Residents say that has damaged their quality of life and they want the city to do something about it.

Kansas Citians in areas like Midtown and Columbus Park are pressing city officials to take action on the issue of unlicensed short-term rentals.

The vast majority of short-term rentals in the city are not licensed under city code. But Kansas City has not highly prioritized enforcing that ordinance.

Residents in areas with a high concentration of short-term rentals complain about frequent noise and partying while also arguing it negatively impacts their neighborhood's sense of community. They also express frustration that the buildings are not being utilized as affordable housing for long-term residents.

KCUR's Up To Date was joined by reporter Celisa Calacal, Kansas City councilman Eric Bunch and local resident Kate Barsotti to discuss the problem at hand and how the city might go about addressing it.

  • Celisa Calacal, KCUR Missouri government and politics reporter
  • Eric Bunch, Kansas City councilman representing the fourth district
  • Kate Barsotti, Columbus Park Community Council President
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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