Rice Road and Boyd Lane intersect at the center of housing insecurity for Boone County.
Northeast Columbia — the region north of I-70 stretching east of Paris Road to Route Z — saw more eviction filings than any other area of the county since the start of 2020, according to data from Princeton University's Eviction Lab. Eviction filings wedge renters deeper into housing situations that are often already limited or unstable — even when they don't result in the loss of a physical home. One renter the Missourian spoke to is a single mother living paycheck to paycheck who borrowed money to keep her home after an eviction filing. Another woman's eviction caused her to lose the first home she was able to find after living in hotels.
Photography by Michelle Gutierrez. Story by Hope Davis and additional reporting by Eli Hoff.Photo editing by Tristen Rouse.
Alexis Key holds her newborn daughter, Brielle, on Dec. 16 in Boonville. Key was pregnant with her daughter when she was evicted from her home on Rice Road in Columbia.
Audrey Key poses for a portrait in front of her apartment duplex Dec. 7, 2022, on Boyd Lane in Columbia. Key lives in the basement of the duplex where she struggles to maintain her health due to black mold.
LEFT: A bullet hole marks the worn siding of a fourplex home Dec. 7, 2022, on Rice Road in Columbia. Stacey Hawkins lived in an apartment there with her daughter Alexis Key before they were evicted in May 2022. CENTER: Dead bugs collect in the entry way to Audrey Key’s basement apartment Dec. 7, 2022, on Boyd Lane in Columbia. RIGHT: Black mold damages the baseboard in Audrey Key’s apartment Dec. 7, 2022, on Boyd Lane in Columbia.
Trinston Jones, left, works on a car with his son Zavion, 10, on Feb. 19, 2023, on Rice Road in Columbia. Jones grew up in the neighborhood in the 1990s and moved back to the area in 2020.
Tammy Wright carries groceries to her apartment Dec. 11, 2022, in Columbia. Wright paid extra fees to avoid eviction and lives paycheck to paycheck.