Ours is a growing community with growing affordable-housing needs. We have a 54,000 households, who live in or near poverty and are paying more than half of their income for housing. The affordability gap is the result of economic, housing-cost and demographic trends — and population projections for the area indicate it will only get larger.
This gap might feel overwhelming, but unlike other problems facing our community, we have proven solutions to the challenge. Following more than two years of study by the Alliance, in consultation with local and national leaders, we believe our community can and should pursue three strategies:
‒ Develop homes—construct and preserve affordable owner and rental homes, including private-market properties that are being purchased by out-of-town investors who raise rents.
‒ Improve existing homes—repair and make accessible homes of low-income seniors and people with disabilities so they can continue to age in place and live independently, and renovate housing as part of neighborhood-revitalization efforts.
‒ Stabilize households—provide renter assistance linked with services to prevent eviction, reduce homelessness, stabilize senior citizens and other households on fixed incomes, and provide a hand up to people who are completing programs to become more self-sufficient.
The Alliance has developed a 3-Year Start-Up plan that is a feasible approach launching the community response to the affordable housing challenge in 2018.