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Just before Thanksgiving, a housing crisis popped up in the infamous St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. The county housing authority had stepped in to demand repairs from a property management company officials deemed substandard and even dangerous. In other words, the system was doing what it was supposed to do: ensuring residents have a safe place to live. But the property company responded by threatening to kick out residents, and pointed blame at the housing authority and previous ownership. It’s a mess. And in the middle are residents who are hustling to find safe housing during the coldest months of the year. The whole situation gets at the heart of what’s happening around issues of race, class and housing in the St. Louis area. Because while some institutions are making legitimate changes, countless pitfalls remain on the path to progress.

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