There should be housing opportunities for all income groups. Policemen, firemen, teachers and those who provide services to city residents should be able to live in the communities they serve. We need to recognize that not dealing with this issue will contribute to high costs for services and affect retention. We also have an obligation to help city residents who cannot take care of themselves.
What Has Been Accomplished:
- President of the first Church Shelter Board.
- Chaired the Housing Taskforce that adopted the Region’s first Affordable Housing Plan.
- Championed the Virginia Housing Development Authority proposal to invest in reviewing current regional affordable housing efforts and planning for the future.
The Next Four Years:
- Look at programs in other jurisdictions that provide housing support for employees and residents– rental/mortgage assistance through loan guarantees, housing authorities, etc.
- The George Washington Regional Commission is updating its housing plan in conjunction with the ongoing housing study by VHDA. The results should begin a community conversation on future housing options/support.
- Identify federal/state/ private funding opportunities and partnerships to assist in meeting housing goals.
I was brought up with the idea that we have an obligation to help those who cannot help themselves. I have tried to live up to that idea by being involved from serving on the first shelter board and continuing to help through participation in the Point in Time Count and supporting homeless initiatives within the city and regionally.
Moving forward we need to:
- Continue to work towards a regional support plan through engagement at the elected officials level.
- We do need to hire a social service professional to deal directly with homeless issues on the street. To help provide support and to be called on when problems arise and not relying on law enforcement. Identifying not just local but regional/state/ and federal funds for this position.
- Continue to work with our regional partners, state officials, and Micah and Virginia Supportive Housing to move forward on supportive housing.