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A Kansas City program has prevented more than 1,000 evictions

Papers are hung on a wall, with text telling people how to get an attorney for free if they are experiencing eviction.
Celisa Calacal
KCUR 89.3
Information on how to connect with a free attorney is displayed outside an eviction courtroom in the Jackson County Courthouse.

Kansas City's right-to-counsel program, which provides free legal representation to tenants who end up in eviction court, has prevented more than 1,000 evictions since its launch in June 2022.

Kansas City's right-to-counsel program launched a year and a half ago, providing legal representation to thousands of Kansas Citians facing eviction. Since then, program leaders say it has been successful.

Celisa Calacal, who has been reporting on this topic for KCUR, told Up To Date that the program has resulted in 79% percent of cases ending in "tenant-friendly outcomes."

"Before this program, you know, it was really common for tenants to show up to eviction court with no legal representation," Calacal said. "And without an attorney, they would often lose their cases."

"When you get an eviction judgment on your record, it just makes it so hard to rent afterward. It's really kind of like a red stamp on your record, and so this has really flipped the dynamic on its head."

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