C'ville Affordable Housing: action for housing justice & racial justice (CLIHC 8/18)
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Charlottesville Low-Income Housing Coalition (CLIHC) Petition:
Charlottesville’s affordable housing crisis is getting worse every day. We now have a shortage of over 3,300 affordable rentals, record high rents, and long-time residents getting priced out and pushed out of our community. This is not just an economic problem, it’s a racial justice problem: Black residents are being hit hardest of all. The situation isn’t new. It comes out of a history of racist “urban renewal” programs that bulldozed Black-owned homes and destroyed Black-owned businesses here in Charlottesville. Our city is on track to become a playground for millionaires and tourists, with almost no options left for lower-income people, the backbone of our economy. It doesn’t have to be this way. The city has done almost nothing to fix this problem for decades, but that can change. We call upon our government to take action immediately.
To Neighborhood Development Services (NDS):
STOP DELAYING! Show that you take these issues seriously by putting community-supported proposals promptly before City Council. The first priority is to fulfill plans for community-based peer-to-peer outreach focused on very low-income residents. Outreach should finish by November 30 and a Housing Strategy should be drafted no later than January 31, 2019. There should be no new Comp Plan until there is a comprehensive Housing Strategy.
To City Council:
● INVEST IN PUBLIC HOUSING! The city should include an ambitious bond issue in the 2019 budget to address the need for affordable housing, with an initial bond issuance of at least $50 million as a downpayment toward the total amount that the forthcoming Housing Strategy determines our community needs. This must be the top priority bond and should provide substantial funding for public housing redevelopment and modernization. Bond funds could also drive other ways to stop displacement and create more affordable housing. Money has slowed redevelopment down in the past and the city needs to get serious.
● Approve the NDS proposal for community-based peer-to-peer outreach and require a fast timeline for completing the Housing Strategy. Accountability is in your hands and delays need to stop.
● Expand community-based economic development. Affordable housing needs to go hand-in-hand with additional strategies to improve low-income people’s earnings and provide opportunities for home ownership.
We know that Charlottesville can rise to the challenges ahead. Our city has the power to solve its affordable housing crisis. We urge you to take this opportunity to steer Charlottesville toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive future.
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