Illegal To Have Roommates In Shawnee, KS

A city in Kansas has banned co-living, effectively making it illegal to have a group of unrelated roommates split the cost of rent in single-family residential zoning districts.

As rental and housing prices have climbed across the country, people have turned to roommates to help balance the cost.

The Shawnee ordinance said a group of people is co-living if it includes at least four adults who are unrelated. Only one adult needs to be unrelated for the entire group to be classified as unrelated, according to the Kansas City Star.

The ban came in spite of data presented in a housing study that demonstrated the average home price in Johnson County rose 37% between 2017 and 2021, from $324,393 to $443,700, according to the Kansas City Star. The housing study referred to the price rise as a health equity issue, noting that wages did not rise at the same rate.

According to a 2022 Washington Post analysis, rent in Johnson County has risen by 11.4% just since 2019. The average rent paid was $1,263.  Read more HERE.

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