|For Immediate Release: February 23, 2021|
From: Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition (GCHC), Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati (MARCC), Affordable Housing Advocates (AHA) Contact: Josh Spring (GCHC): firstname.lastname@example.org; 513-716-7455, Margaret Fox (MARCC): email@example.com; 609-439-1881 John Schrider (AHA): firstname.lastname@example.org; 513-720-3219 www.actionforhousingnow.com
|Today, the Hamilton County Board of Elections confirmed we collected enough valid petition signatures so that on May 4, Cincinnatians will have the opportunity to vote to invest $50 million of our money every year into stable housing tens of thousands of us need and can afford. In a time of uncertainty, distancing and struggle, it speaks volumes that more than 200 volunteers collected signatures from over 9,500 people, many of whom, with no public gatherings, had to make a way to sign. Cincinnati Action for Housing Now is grateful to the thousands of Cincinnatians that have pushed the issue of affordable housing this far. Our campaign has been, and will continue to be, grassroots and community driven. |
Passage of this charter amendment will ensure $50 million city dollars is invested in the construction and preservation of affordable housing every year in Cincinnati. Thousands of essential workers who have kept us all going through this pandemic; home health aides, food delivery drivers, grocery store employees, teaching assistants, pharmacy technicians and nursing assistants, to name a few, cannot afford the median cost of even a one-bedroom apartment in Cincinnati. Even before the pandemic, thousands of Cincinnati families have been struggling for a long time to keep their home by paying for housing they cannot afford, because nothing they can afford is available to them. Because having nowhere you can afford to live is not sustainable, so many adults and children have totally lost their housing.
If passed by Cincinnati voters, each year these funds would build or preserve 500 or more homes affordable to Cincinnati households whose annual income is at or below 60% of the area median income; currently $34,327. Today, the 41% of Cincinnati households with incomes at or below this level are competing for a regularly decreasing number of homes they can afford. Once homes are developed with these funds, they will stay affordable.
This initiative is different from what we are used to. If passed in May, these dollars will prioritize thousands of hard-working Cincinnati families who typically can’t catch a break. It would also establish a Community Oversight Board, which will ensure the money is spent as it is supposed to be spent. The Oversight Board will be a group of regular people, nominated by regular people. Cincinnatians will easily be able to know how the funds are being invested and be a part of making those decisions. This board will include people who work in social services, fair housing, neighborhood and housing development, funding, housing and homelessness advocacy and law. The board will specifically include people who rent; have experienced homelessness; and own their homes. As an all-volunteer board, they will ensure fiscal responsibility over the Public’s money, and invest it according to the Public’s interest.
How often have you voted for something and actually saw the positive effects of it? When have you voted for something new and then looked around your neighborhood and seen real results? If enough Cincinnatians vote for this on May 4, you will see the results. You will see it through the renovated buildings, the families who no longer have to bounce from couch to couch, the shortening lines in front of eviction court, the seniors who can afford to stay in their neighborhood, the new living-wage construction and property management jobs, the children who grow up without the trauma of regularly losing their home, neighbors and school connection.
Through the Public’s continued support, we can start down the path to a Cincinnati where everyone has a safe, stable place to call home. Cincinnati Action for Housing Now is ready to continue channeling this energy and driving forward a vote for affordable housing on May 4, 2021.
To get involved, visit www.actionforhousingnow.com or call 513-421-7803.
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