A GROWING SHORTAGE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND A SIMULTANEOUS INCREASE IN POVERTY ARE LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STEADY RISE IN HOMELESSNESS OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS.
What is affordable housing?
From HUD: “The generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care. An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more then 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing, and a family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States. The lack of affordable housing is a significant hardship for low-income households preventing them from meeting their other basic needs, such as nutrition and healthcare, or saving for their future and that of their families.”( http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/affordablehousing)
Affordable Housing and shelters: Since 2011 there has been a lot of talk about moving existing shelters. We have been very clear that we, as a Coalition support the movement of the City Gospel Mission as such a move will double their capacity to serve people. We have also been supportive of the movement of the Mt. Airy Shelter, because formerly it was in a forest and there is not much housing and jobs available in a forest, though it is now no longer a shelter. We have worked against proposals to spend dollars that could be spent on affordable housing for the political movement of shelters. We believe without proper dollars for housing, shelters will be overrun with demand- more than they already are. Already in Hamilton County shelters are exiting people on average in 60 days or less, but yet we have the same general number of people in the beds each night. This means shelters are doing what they are supposed to when someone enters their door- assisting them in finding income and housing. The problem lies in our communities- we do not have enough affordable housing and jobs. Access to affordable housing and jobs prevent and end homelessness.