A few interesting links which have parts that may be applicable to Kansas city - though many parts are NOT. Some deal with squatting which is a concept I do support if it's done correctly. I do not support using abandoned houses for drugs and prostitution. Why do I support squatting? Because it's a better alternative to having abandoned buildings AND homeless people.
http://www.innercitypress.org/housing.html this one is especially interesting to me since part of the sources claim that in 2000 KC had 7500 abandoned buildings.